Specifically, as Petrofin presents Credit Suisse increased its portfolio in Greece, the world's largest shipowning nation by about 13% during 2018, leaving behind 2017's reduction of 4.17%.
Petrofin noted that the adjustment process by over-leveraged and aggressive banks has come to near its end after 10 years since the 2009 financial crisis, with few banks nowadays nurturing sizeable bad shipping loans. As a consequence, both the survivors of the above contraction and the recent entries are expected to once again drive ship finance higher.
It is the performance of the various shipping sectors, as well as the overall global economic and geopolitical factors, that will determine the immediate future and commitment of shipping banks. Owners’ appetite for additional newbuildings and second hand purchases will also be dependent on the above factors. However, interest in LNGs and tanker vessels continues unabated, seemingly unaffected by global economic and geopolitical issues.
Mr Petropoulos, founder of Petrofin added that the major competition to banks lies in Far East, as Chinese lessors are developing and began to address requirements of smaller owners.
The number of Chinese leasing companies has grown enormously and their finance cost has declined to being on par or even lower than banks.
added Mr Ted Petropoulos.
New 2020 fuel regulations, as well as the implementation of the Ballast Water Management system have added to the challenges of the shipping industry and the banks. Moreover, Banks are also looking at environmental issues emerging that may affect their clients and shipping. Therefore, loan approvals are now longer and uncertainty has grown further.