Athens-based Piraeus Bank has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with ORIX Corporation, a Japan and US-listed company, for the provision of financing solutions to the Greek maritime sector.
ORIX is a financial services group with nearly USD 100 billion in operating assets across 37 countries and regions, and a history of over nearly 50 years in the global maritime sector.
Piraeus Bank, on the other hand, has an overall portfolio intended for Greek Shipping exceeding USD 2.5 billion.
The partnership comes on the heels of an announcement made by Piraeus Bank in July 2019 on exploring a potential partnership with a major Asian Pacific financial conglomerate.
“The partnership combines Piraeus Bank’s long-term relationships and knowledge of the Greek maritime sector with ORIX’s significant balance sheet capacity, to provide clients with a wider selection of financing instruments and additional financing where necessary.”
“Through the strategic collaboration agreement with ORIX, Piraeus Bank aims to strengthen its long-standing client relationships,” Piraeus Bank said, adding it would continue to provide financing to the Greek shipping market both on its own and as part of this venture.
The collaboration agreement is expected to expand in both scope and sectors over time.
Greek shipping industry owns the largest international commercial fleet operating 20% of the global and 50% of the European capacity. As such, the move to provide the sector with greater availability of finances is more than welcome, especially at a time when financing to shipping is becoming ever scarcer.
Namely, leading European banks have been cutting their exposure to shipping over the past couple of years as non-performing shipping loans pushed the banks into the red.
As such, the maritime industry has had to resort to more innovative financing solutions and has found some breathing space in financial leasing from Asian lenders.
Leasing financing structure has been described as a much more flexible solution than that provided by commercial banks.