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HSH Nordbank looking to enter Indian market

Mumbai: The world's largest ship-financer HSH Nordbank has announced that it is planning to begin operations in the lucrative Indian market, pending approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). If given clearance, Nordbank will become the first specialist ship financing firm to start operations in the country.

India is a particularly attractive market for ship financers as a large part of the Indian fleet must be replaced within the next five years to comply with IMO regulation. "44% of the Indian fleet is over 20 years of age,' Yudhishthir Khatau (pictured), President of the Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA) told SeatradeAsia-Online.com. 'If the Indian fleet wants to maintain its share of international and domestic trade, then we need a fleet of 20m gt - to achive this we will have to acquire/replace 16m gt. We would need to spend $20bn for this.'

The entry of a major international player such as Nordbank is expected to make it easier for shipowners to fund newbuilds and acquisitions as it will increase the competition in the market that is currently dominated by domestic financers such as the State Bank of India and ICICI bank.  [05/09/07]

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