SERVICES

The complicated relationship between banks and shipowners

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has returned to profit after a decade of losses.The news is juicy for British taxpayers, who in 2008, to avoid RBS’s bankruptcy, paid out a good £45.5 billion.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has returned to profit after a decade of losses.The news is juicy for British taxpayers, who in 2008, to avoid RBS’s bankruptcy, paid out a good £45.5 billion. However, it does not mean anything for shipping, although the RBS has long been a pillar in the area of asset-backed mortgages on the hull. RBS indeed, like many other banks, has finished with naval credits. The shipping banks still in the field lend their money almost exclusively to those who ask them for a ship to be included in a fleet of robust size and in good economic and financial health. In short, the usual shipping loans have become almost a reserve of blue chips.
That is, of very few shipowners. Therefore, although at current prices the possibility is rare, today the non-blue-chip shipowners often have to accept that the mortgages turned on the second-hand hulls do not cover more than 40% of the value of the ship and pay an annual interest of 7-8%. So many of the non-top-tier companies prefer or look for an agreement with an emerging Chinese financial group or focus on leasing companies or, if mortgages secured by mortgages on the hull go to corporate financing, contact the bond market. Including those that leave a little risk to the subscriber.

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