ABN AMRO pumps billions into shipping finance

ABN AMRO is pumping billions of dollars into its shipping finance business as the sector looks to recovery – just as European rivals cut their exposure due to tougher capital constraints, the Dutch state bank’s head of shipping said.

ABN AMRO has tripled its ship finance portfolio to around $7-8 billion from $2.5 billion in 2009-2010, Gust Biesbroeck told Reuters.

“We expect a growth of 10 to 12 percent of our portfolio this year and the plan for up until 2017 is continued growth at about that pace. Of course, market circumstances allowing,” Biesbroeck said on the sidelines of Greece’s Posidonia shipping week.

“From 45 active shipping banks, five to six remain now,” leading Greek shipowner George Prokopiou told a Capital Link conference in Athens this week.