ECONOMY

Chinese to fill vacuum in shipping funding

Commerzbank-Deutsche Schiffsbank?s decision to depart from the shipping sector has shifted the balance in the industry as the German bank was its third-largest creditor in the world. It had a portfolio of $26 billion, and the second-biggest loan portfolio in the Greek market, with credit adding up to $5.5 billion.

Its departure, however, allows for the dynamic entry of other banks in the sector, with the Chinese apparently eager to fill the vacuum. The advent of Chinese in shipping funding is seen as creating a particularly favorable environment for Greek shipowners, who have had ?smooth trade relations for decades? with Chinese lenders, according to shipping sources.

Giorgos Xiradakis, chief executive officer at XRTC business consultants, says that ?Greek shipping has opened its gates to Chinese funding, which is slowly but steadily increasing, and that is very positive.?

He adds that lenders such as China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of China already have relations with Greek companies such as DryShips, Dynacom, Costamare etc.