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Sumitomo Mitsui to double overseas shipping bankers

Tokyo: Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group has announced that it plans to double its overseas ship-finance banking staff in response to skyrocketing demand for vessels, reports Bloomberg. "With the boom in shipping we can't find enough people to hire,'' Yohei Ugari, head of the shipping finance department in the banks's business promotion group, told the newswire, adding "We expect demand to remain strong.''

He has said that the bank aims to double ship finance staff outside Japan to 40 in three years. It sent two ship finance bankers to Singapore in September and plans also to increase staff at its Shanghai office.

The bank operates 18 overseas branches (excluding subbranches and representative agencies) and 406 domestic branches.

According to the U.S. magazine Marine Money, Sumitomo Mitsui financed $2.7bn worth of ship construction last year - a figure that is likely to rise if the boom in the shipbuilding industry (particularly for dry bulk vessels) continues on its current path.  [07/11/07]

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