ECONOMY

Banks cut shipping funding

Bank funding for Greek shipping showed a decline of $8 billion last year relative to 2008, according to an estimate by Petrofin Bank Research. In the first nine months of 2009 shipping received funding of $65 billion, down from $73.2 billion in 2008. Moreover, due to mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector, the number of banks that funded Greek shipping fell from 40 to 35 last year. At a global level, Petrofin Bank Research data showed that bank funding to shipping dropped by $50 billion to $410 billion, based on the figures for the January-September period. The drop in funding has resulted in a considerable delay in the delivery by shipyards of newly built vessels, according to another study by the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO). The delivery of one in every six new vessels has been behind schedule in the last three months, the study suggested. The delays involve 17 percent of dry-bulkers and 14 percent of tankers.