Mitsubishi UFJ, SocGen to Finance Lauritzen Japanese Ship Order
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan"s biggest bank by market value, and France"s Societe Generale SA will lend 15.5 billion yen ($170 million) to Danish shipper J. Lauritzen A/S to buy six ships made in Japan. ?We will tomorrow make the first order on this facility granted by Societe Generale and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi,? said Birgit Aagaard-Svendsen, chief financial officer of Copenhagen- based J. Lauritzen, in a telephone interview. ?The deals will be more formally announced tomorrow.?
Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, a Japanese government-backed export credit agency, will guarantee 95 percent of the loan, Aagaard-Svendsen said. The Danish ship owner, which has already ordered the vessels from Japanese shipbuilders including Imabari Shipbuilding Co., is seeing an improvement in its bulk shipping, she said.
The banks agreed on March 16 to provide the ship-owner with funds, a person familiar with the deal said earlier, declining to be identified ahead of an announcement.
Shinya Matsumoto, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Mitsubishi UFJ, declined to comment, as did Hiroko Kato, a spokeswoman for Societe Generale in Tokyo.
?It is a very important issue for us to increase our funding sources and also utilize different export credit agencies,? said Aagaard-Svendsen. The is the first time for NEXI to guarantee a deal for J. Lauritzen and the ships will be delivered in 2010 and 2011, she said.