EuropeFinance and Insurance

Italian shipping bad loans on sale soar past the $1bn mark

On the Italian shipping market some $1.6bn of non-performing-loans (NPLs) have already been dismissed by several national and international banks while a further $1bn are currently on sale and expected to be sold in the next few months, according to Furio Samela from law firm Watson Farley & Williams. Samela was speaking about the Italian ship finance market at a seminar dedicated to loan portfolio sales recently held in Milan.

He also stated, mentioning statistics collected by Venice Shipping & Logistics private equity fund, that the exposure of Italian shipowners with the banks stands today at around $14bn of which $7.6bn are NPLs, mainly related to bulk carriers and tankers.

Samela also specified that the vast majority of Italian shipping firmshave gone under restructuring or insolvency proceedings.

“There have been in total 31 proceedings of which 12 were bankruptcies, three extraordinary administrations, seven pre-insolvency proceedings and nine out of court debt restructurings,” he said. The decrease of asset values and the consequent breach of loan-to-value covenants were the main reason for restructuring.

Some financial sources revealed to Splash that the next deal is likely to involve the Savona-based shipping company Finbeta whose exposure with Banca Carige (over €75m) is soon to be sold to Bain Capital together with a broader basket of NPLs which are worth €400m ($460m).

Nicola Capuzzo

Nicola is a highly qualified journalist focused on transport economics, logistics and shipping with broad experience in both online and printed media. Specialties: shipping, ship finance, banking, commodities and port economics. He regularly interviews Europe's top shipowner executives for Maritime CEO magazine.
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