EuropeFinance and Insurance

European owners looking to Asia for financing

Hamburg: Asia continues to gain in importance for the European shipping sector. This is the result of a recent survey conducted by HSH Nordbank, which polled shipping clients primarily from Europe, East and Southeast Asia.

According to the survey, it is primarily Asian providers of capital that are increasing their exposure to ship finance. One-third of respondents are already collaborating with Asian banks in financing newbuilds or purchasing second-hand ships. Furthermore, around 16% obtain capital primarily from strategic investors in Asia. In addition, 80% of those surveyed expect Asian providers of capital to penetrate ship finance – which has traditionally been dominated by European banks – to an even greater extent in future.

“The steadily increasing significance of Asia for the shipping sector is strongly correlated with the financial clout of the providers of capital and the key position of Asian shipyards in building new ships”, said Ingmar Loges, global head of shipping international clients at HSH Nordbank. “On top of this, a number of established European banks have reduced their exposure to ship finance substantially on account of the difficult situation in shipping and the strict regulatory requirements.”

Some 60% of firms polled already have their own offices in Asia. The most important location for European shipping companies is Singapore, followed by Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. In addition, the Philippines is a sought-after location because crewing is often outsourced to this country.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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