Galvanised banks descend upon Athens

Galvanised banks descend upon Athens

Expect more bankers to be in attendance at next month’s Posidonia than at any time since the start of the global financial crisis 10 years ago.

With all data pointing to the rapid growth of the national merchant fleet – the Union of Greek Shipowners puts the Greek fleet at 20% of the world total – local analysts at Petrofin Bank Research are reporting how many new names in ship finance are engaging Greek owners for business.

New banks on the scene in Greece include Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic, Amsterdam Trade Bank, M&M, Corner Bank, as well as a number of local banks while Petrofin also noted increasing numbers of bankers heading west to the Greek market from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Dubai. Also noteworthy, Orix, which has until recently been a leasing financier has commenced, selectively, to lend to top Greek names, on a traditional bank loan basis, Petrofin reports.

“Whilst it remains difficult to forecast future Greek ship finance numbers, it is safe to say that a slowdown in the rate of decline in Greek ship finance lending is expected to commence in the next couple of years,” Petrofin noted, adding: “Bank lending terms continue to be strict and lending criteria high. Still, traditional bank lending represents the least expensive source of finance (except for export finance, in most cases).”

Splash, which this year is sponsoring Posidonia, will be bringing readers unrivalled coverage of the Greek show in the coming days.

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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