French bank gets the right partner to enter the local shipping funding sector

The French bank Natexis Banques Populaires is making a notable entry into the Greek shipping funding sector, aiming to make satisfactory deals with shipping companies under Greek management. The French bank will be active in the Greek market through the shipping consultancy firm XRTC, which until recently cooperated with another French bank, Credit Lyonnais, though their cooperation ended when it merged with Credit Agricole – Indosuez. «Until today, we had not sought to expand in Greece as we did not have the right link with the Greek market,» the bank’s circles suggested. Natexis’s presence in the shipping domain began in the early 20th century via Credit Nationale and continued with the founding of the Natexis shipping group in 1997. The bank’s shipping portfolio comes to a total of $1.5 billion and supports the shipping markets in France by 20 percent, in Europe by 30 percent, in Asia by 25 percent and in America by 25 percent. The bank still has a very small position in the market in Greece, just $40 million, with three loans through consortiums to two coastal shipping companies and one oceangoing. XRTC Managing Director Giorgos Ksiradakis said that «the company continues its members’ long presence in Greek shipping and utilizing its experience will seek ways to create a significant shipping portfolio for Natexis.» According to Ksiradakis, the objective is to hammer out long-term relationships of trust with its clients, saying that «the order for developing this new portfolio comes at a time when Greek shipowners’ investments are culminating and includes funding in the main markets of shipping.»

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