HSH Nordbank strengthens focus on Asia in international shipping business

  • Collaboration with Korea Eximbank and city of Busan
  • Joint projects planned in the maritime sector
  • Torsten Temp, member of HSH Nordbank's Management Board: "Collaboration creates proximity to major global shipping location."

Hamburg/Kiel, May 13, 2015 - HSH Nordbank is shifting its focus in the international shipping business more closely to the Asian market, collaborating with local players in the process. To this end, HSH Nordbank intends to cooperate with the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) and Busan, Korea's second-largest city after the capital Seoul. An agreement was signed in Hamburg this afternoon.

Prior to this, the mayors of Hamburg and Busan, Olaf Scholz and Suh Byung-soo, in a memorandum of understanding had agreed on closer collaboration in the areas of maritime industry, logistics, trade and others.

"This step is consistent with our strategy of not only broadening but also deepening the relationship HSH Nordbank has with its Asian clients," said Torsten Temp, Management Board member with responsibility for several business areas including the Shipping division. "Through this collaboration we are creating proximity to the Asian market and laying the foundations for closer ties with one of the world's most important maritime locations."

The collaboration comprises projects involving finance for Korean and international ship-ping companies, export finance, loan syndication and refinancing. Moreover, the possibility of collaboration in the areas of maritime logistics, infrastructure and equipment is due to be explored. There are also plans for the mutual deployment of employees for further training purposes.

HSH Nordbank is currently represented in Asia through offices in Hong Kong and Singa-pore, from where the Bank also covers the Korean market. The planned collaboration aims, in particular, to expand direct business with Korean clients. Until now, HSH Nordbank's activities in Korean business have focused on providing assistance to international shipping companies with local operations. In the 2014 financial year around 70 percent of new shipping business was accounted for by international clients and 30 percent by German shipping companies. All told, HSH Nordbank generated new business in shipping of EUR 1.5 billion in 2014, financing exclusively newbuilds, second-hand ships and shipping companies. HSH Nordbank does not finance shipyards.

According to a recent survey by HSH Nordbank among its shipping clients, Asia is gaining increasing importance not only for access to cargo but also as a finance location. The survey results show that in future around 80 percent of respondents expect Asian investors to assume a greater role in ship finance, which has traditionally been dominated by European banks.

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