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China Exim Bank to lend $162m to local shipping firms

China Exim Bank to lend $162m to local shipping firms
Singapore: The Export-Import Bank of China is to extend loans of approximately RMB1bn ($161.5m) for five to six privately-owned Chinese shipping companies, according to Chen Bin, deputy general manager, transport finance department, of the China Exim Bank.

The official ceremony for the new loans will be held next Monday in Fuzhou, the capital city in China's Fujian province, Chen revealed to Seatrade Global.

The privately-owned Chinese companies include shipowners and shipyards engaged in the ship repair business.

“This deal is our signal to the market that we are not just focusing on top-tier clients but we are open to small and middle sized companies as well. This is also the start of our first step in China and our next step will be aimed at global customers,” Chen said.

China Exim Bank has a ship financing portfolio worth about $12bn in 2012 and it is looking to grow the figure amid the global shipping slump.

“We want to satisfy all the qualified customers,” Chen said, adding that one of the key evaluations the bank looks at is that the owners should preferably place newbuilding orders at Chinese shipyards.

Following the financial credit crunch in late-2008 and the onset of the shipping recession, Beijing saw the opportunity to offer loans to international clients at a time when financing was hard to come by, especially from European banks.