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Bank of China hands Bertling 40m

Bank of China hands Bertling 40m
Chinese banks have continued their long march into ship financing with the latest $40m loan to German shipowner FH Bertling.

Bank of China hands Bertling $40m.

Chinese banks have continued their long march into ship financing with the latest $40m loan to German shipowner FH Bertling.

The deal, which was announced yesterday, teams the Bank of China with China Export & Credit Insurance to provide the Hamburg-based shipping firm with a $40m line of credit and insurance.

The deal will allow Bertling to bankroll its newbuilding orders at Zhong Chuan Heavy Industry, an offshoot of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, in Zhejiang province.

A spokesman for Bertling told local press the deal was a win-win situation for the three companies involved in the transaction.

The company is due to take delivery of four 50,000 dwt handymax bulkers this year and in 2011. They include Dalarna, Navarra and Dalatia, which are all due for delivery in 2010.

Chinese lenders are stepping up their efforts to finance cash-strapped foreign shipowners following Beijing"s shipping stimulus package launched in February last year.

Citics China Securities research analyst Gao Xiao Chun told Lloyd"s List that the country"s ship finance market was dominated by Exim Bank of China, but other banking giants such as Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China were striving to take advantage of the ballooning ship finance market after the implementation of the shipping stimulus package.

BoC provided a $149m credit line last November to Germany"s Schulte Group for nine newbuildings it ordered from Jiangzhou Union Shipbuilding and offered a $180m worth buyer"s credit to Korea"s STX Pan Ocean for the acquisition of three 17,600 dwt handysize vessels ordered at Jiangsu New Century Shipyard last December.

ICBC appears to be beefing up its ship finance business with the recent appointment of Paul Chang, a prominent Hong Kong financier who joined the bank earlier this month from the Hong Kong office of Germany"s HSH Nordbank where he was head of ship finance in Asia. He has been replaced by his former deputy Belinda Tang.

Other Chinese banks eyeing ship finance include China Construction Bank, China Development Bank, Bank of Communications and China Merchant Bank.


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