EuropeFinance and Insurance

Ship financing now at its lowest levels since the collapse of Lehman Brothers

Ship financing is at its lowest level since the global financial crisis of 2008, according to the latest annual survey from Greece’s Petrofin Bank Research.

The top 40 banks’ lending to shipping now stands at $300.7bn, the lowest level since Petrofin started monitoring the global portfolio in 2008. $44.3bn has been knocked off the portfolios of the top 40 banks over the last year with even the previously fast rising Asian banks registering drops in their portfolios.

“The growth of the global fleet continues to be funded from non-banking sources,” Petrofin noted in a release, citing the continued rise of Chinese leasing companies.

“The decline of Western bank ship finance has assumed dramatic proportions. In just 11 years and despite the rise in the global fleet, about $160bn has been shed via natural repayments, provisions or loan portfolio sales. The trend seems to be continuing, however, the absolute number of candidate banks for exit or reduction has reduced to very few. Those remaining are successfully combining ship lending with other bank services and thus remain in the industry,” Petrofin stated.

Two thirds of Splash readers polled in a recent survey believe ship finance is not becoming more readily available despite increasing rates across many shipping sectors.

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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