Finance and InsuranceGreater ChinaTankers

Gibson charts Chinese banks’ leading role in tanker finance

Shipbroker Gibson’s latest weekly report charts China’s massive influence when it comes to the financing and sale and leaseback of tankers.

“Chinese financial institutions have sprung up over the past few years keen to fill the gap left by traditional lenders,” Gibson reported, stating that Chinese financiers are keen on sale and leaseback deals because lenders are still worried about payment defaults.

Gibson records indicate that Bank of Communications Financial Leasing has financed around 5.2m dwt of tanker tonnage spread amongst refinancing existing tonnage and newbuildings. The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) portfolio is estimated at 2m dwt of existing tanker tonnage but this particular bank is more heavily involved in financing in a wide range of shipping sectors. Minsheng Financial Leasing, one of China’s largest lessors, is financing more than 300 vessels, more than doubling its portfolio in three years with tanker tonnage representing 15% of this total.

“Clearly, China has once again built a formidable challenge to the traditional western players, in yet another service sector of shipping,” Gibson noted.

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.


  1. The article leaves the impression that the terms ‘bank’, ‘financier’, ‘financial institution’ and ‘leasing company’ are all the same in China. That is a bit too much of a simplification in my view.

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