Maritime Lending Down to Twelve-Year Low (1 Nov 2019)

Bank lending to shipping concerns has fallen to its lowest level in at least twelve years, according to a new analysis by Greek researchers Petrofin Global Bank Research. The analysts say that last year saw the top 40 shipping banks loan a combined US$ 300.7 billion to shipping projects, which was US$ 45 billion lower (or 13%) than the year before and the lowest level since 2007 (US$ 352.3 billion), when the analysts began reporting on ship lending. Petrofin said that some of the reduction in loans was due to major shipping banks still in the process of off-loading their heavily exposed maritime portfol­ios that were critically damaged in the financial crisis. European banks have lowered their shipping expo­sure by 14% in the past year, says Petrofin, while US banks have raised it slightly by 5%. The analysts also noted a strong eastward shift in ship financing with the global share of European banks moving to 58% today from 83% in 2010; US banks account for 6.5% (from 2%); Asia-Pacific banks account for 35% (from 15%). German banks now account for US$ 38 billion in global ship loans (vs. US$ 154 billion in 2010).

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