RBS to sell Greek shipping portfolio

RBS to sell Greek shipping portfolio

Athens: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is looking to offload its $5bn Greek ship finance business, Reuters reports. The aim is to find a buyer by December.

RBS has been one of the main lenders to Greek shipowners for decades. However, the banking group wants to cut back non-core activities, Reuters reported, citing sources connected with the sale. RBS’s Greek team numbers about 60 employees.

RBS is also scaling back business in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia as it focuses on the UK market.

RBS’s planned Greek shipping exit follows on from another British bank choosing to cut ties with the industry. Last April, Lloyd’s Banking Group offloaded much of its ship finance portfolio for $500m.

RBS, which has been undergoing extensive restructuring for the last five years, will keep its non-Greek shipping portfolio, worth some $6bn, the report claimed.

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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1 Comment

  1. Andrew Craig-Bennett
    July 13, 2015 at 9:28 am

    The disposal of the Greek portfolio whilst holding on to the rest might be less significant than it appears.

    I don’t know, but if, as is quite possible, much of the rest of the portfolio were to be lease finance for oil majors, and such like, then that business would be seen as having a UK connection.