Hamburg-based Berenberg Bank has purchased a portfolio of European shipping loans worth around USD 300 million from The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), according to the law firm Watson Farley & Williams.
Berenberg transferred the portfolio on to Luxembourg fund Berenberg Alternative Assets Fund, which it set up and to which it acts as sole advisor.
Fully compliant with all regulatory requirements for institutional investors, the fund primarily focusses on performing loans, Watson Farley & Williams informed.
The 73-percent state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland, which is currently in the midst of a restructuring, launched the sale of a total of USD 600 million worth of shipping loans in an effort to exit the sector as it is looking to return to profit after eight straight years of losses.
In January 2017, the Japanese financial services group Orix Corporation bought some USD 289 million worth of shipping loans from RBS, primarily consisting of investment grade loans derived from the bank’s Greek shipping business.
Earlier reports suggested that other financial institutions, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as well as investment management firm Davidson Kempner Capital Management, were interested in buying RBS’ shipping loan tranches.