Japan signs export finance deal with South Korea
The Japan Bank for International Co-operation has signed its first shipping-related export finance deal with South Korea after agreeing a $57m loan with Korea Development Bank.
The export credit line will help finance the purchase of two 55,800 dwt bulk carriers by a Panamanian subsidiary of SK Shipping from trading company Sumitomo Corp.
The two vessels are being built at IHI Marine United"s Yokohama shipyard and are due for delivery later this year. The Japanese government-backed bank will cofinance the loan with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.
?As the credit squeeze in the aftermath of the global financial crisis since autumn 2008 has made it difficult to structure ship financing across the world, this loan, which provides financing through KDB, will lead to supporting exports by Japanese companies and thereby contribute to maintaining and improving the international competitiveness of Japanese shipbuilders,? the Tokyo-based bank said in a statement.
This latest deal is the second credit line provided by JBIC to a foreign bank to help support Japanese shipbuilders following an advance to Turkey"s Isbank at the end of last year.
The deal is yet another sign that the region"s export credit agencies, such as the Export-Import Bank of China, Export Import Bank of Korea, Korea Export Insurance Corporation and JBIC are stepping up activities in a bid to fill the financing gap in the shipping industry.
JBIC, which is the international arm of the Japan Finance Corp, said it would continue to actively support the export of ships built in Japanese shipyards since the industry plays an important role in the economy.
Seoul-based SK Shipping is an affiliate of South Korea"s SK group. It owns or long-term charters 53 vessels comprising 7.6m dwt, according to the company"s web site.