Chinese ship funding may reach $10 bln

Chinese banks may finance Greek shipping companies building vessels at one of China?s shipbuilders with up to 10 billion dollars (7.25 billion euros).

This is what Chinese bank representatives said this week after meeting with Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Minster Yiannis Diamantidis in China.

The amount is larger than the five billion dollar fund announced for the same purpose by China?s premier Wen Jiabao during a trip to Athens in October.

Banking officials that met with Diamantidis said that the terms of the loans will be among the most competitive available on the international market and that any bureaucratic problems that may arise will be handled.

Among the lenders expected to be involved in the funding are Bank of China, China Development Bank and Ex-Im.

In the meeting with Captain Wei Jiafu, the chairman of shipping giant China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco), it was agreed that Cosco would boost its presence in Piraeus and look into further investment possibilities regarding ports, ship building operations and logistics.

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