HSH Nordbank opening representative office for its shipping business in Greece
Hamburg/Kiel, June 13, 2007 - HSH Nordbank AG intends to open a representative office for its shipping business in Athens. The world’s largest provider of ship finance will thus be further extending its operations in the Greek market. “Greece is for us the most important foreign market in the shipping business,” says Peter Rieck, Deputy CEO of HSH Nordbank. “Our own representative office in Greece will enable us to act even more effectively as a local partner with an international background. We are steadily expanding our range of advisory services, offering – alongside conventional ship finance – further products extending as far as private wealth management.” Subject to the approval of the Bank of Greece, the representative office will open in the third quarter of 2007 and initially employ three relationship managers and two product specialists.
The Greek shipping market is a very significant one in global terms and will continue to attract much interest from abroad. HSH Nordbank has been a partner to Greek shipping clients and the second largest on-the-spot provider of ship finance ever since 1997. Greece accounts for twelve percent of the Bank's shipping portfolio. Sophisticated financing structures and diversification into other assets, such as port facilities and logistics, are increasingly growing in importance. “Together with our clients in Greece we execute finance deals inside and outside the country. This requires a finance partner that is very well acquainted with all aspects of global shipping and covers the whole value chain in the area of maritime finance transactions,” says Harald Kuznik, Global Head of Shipping at HSH Nordbank.
The Shipping Business Unit of the overall bank made a successful start to fiscal 2007. Flourishing markets provided new business amounting to EUR 3 billion in the first quarter (previous year: EUR 2.3 billion). In the first quarter, earnings after risk provisioning rose from EUR 71 million to EUR 91 million year on year.
Business with Greek shipping companies grew vigorously as well, posting a year-on-year gain of 35 percent to EUR 3.8 billion in the first quarter. The volume of business done with Greek clients has risen by an annual average of 45 percent over the past three years. In view of lively markets, HSH Nordbank projects continuing dynamic growth in the Greek shipping business for the current year.
With a business volume of around € 30 billion and some 2,600 ships in its portfolio, HSH Nordbank is the world’s leading ship financier. Its range of products for shipping companies operating on an international scale includes, in particular, long-term ship-mortgage loans, finance during construction as well as structured ship finance. The Bank assists its customers both in carrying out projects to build new vessels and in purchasing ships from other sources. HSH Nordbank’s business in this area breaks down into the three main markets of container vessels, tankers and bulk carriers. However, HSH Nordbank also provides customized solutions involving a large variety of specialized ships. In addition to the pure lending business, HSH Nordbank has been focusing to an increasing extent on comprehensive advisory services for all types of shipping companies. Apart from structured and innovative financing methods, the Bank also offers one-stop solutions covering all potential financial service requirements. Innovative instruments for hedging interest, currency and oil-price risks round off the range of products on offer. Here, HSH Nordbank offers solutions that are designed to hedge the risks involved in each individual case
For more information please visit our website at www.hsh-nordbank.com
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