The Chinese leasing firms are resuming their ordering spree on behalf of shipowners, the latest one being Bank of Communications Financial Leasing (BoCom).
Broker reports indicate that the bank has placed an order for four Kamsarmax bulkers with Chengxi Shipyard.
Bank of Communications Finance Leasing operates finance lease for aviation, shipping, utilities, energy equipment, and electricity fields.
The ships are scheduled to start their deliveries from late 2019, according to Asiasis.
Financial details of the deal were undisclosed.
Chengxi has 33 newbuildings on order, not including the latest order, the data from VesselsValue shows.
The ships under construction are predominantly bulkers and small dirty tankers, with deliveries spread across 2018 to 2020.
Chinese leasing firms have emerged as a major source of capital for the shipping industry over the recent period as they join the ranks of the biggest shipowners in the world.
The market has been dominated by European lenders which are turning to a more localized strategy as they work to trim down their exposure to bad shipping loans.
For example, the portfolio of ICBC Leasing, the largest Chinese leasing firm, has reached USD 10 billion in just ten years, Bill Fangmeng Guo, Executive Director of Shipping at ICBC Leasing revealed in an interview with Capital Link.
The leasing firms become the legal owners of the ships and they lease them back to their clients. However, they also have to engage in the technical and commercial management of the vessels.
Leasing financing structure has been described as a much more flexible solution than that provided by commercial banks.
World Maritime News Staff