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Bank regulations leave German shipowners dry

Ship financing will be difficult in 2014 due to stricter rules

Published Sun, Dec 22, 2013 · 10:00 PM
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[HAMBURG] Tighter regulation for banks will make it even harder for German shipowners to obtain loans next year, prolonging the liquidity squeeze that they have battled since 2008, the head of the VDR industry association said.

"I doubt very much that ship financing will become easier in 2014, as banks face increasing regulation and stricter capital rules," said Michael Behrendt, VDR's president, in a Dec 13 interview here.

HSH Nordbank AG, the world's largest shipping financier, Commerzbank AG and Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale have curbed or halted lending to small and mid-sized companies as bad loans swell amid the slump in the shipping industry. The banks are among about 130 European lenders whose balance sheets and assets are being tested by the European Central Bank (ECB) before it assumes the role of financial regulator at the end of next year.

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