EU threatens cheap Danish ship financing

EU threatens cheap Danish ship financing

29-06-2017 12:30:00

Danske Rederier is now struggling to save cheap and efficient financing of Danish ships with the so-called "special-purpose bonds" that require a lower level of collateral because ships are considered an asset of high quality. However, this could be changed by a report from the European Parliament.

Ships have so far been treated as real estate in relation to collateral for bond loans. This has meant that Danmarks Skibskredit has been able to provide cheap and efficient financing with bonds that, according to Denmark's Ship Finance, have never been defaulted.

Removing this option could eventually provide more expensive funding for the shipping industry, according to Danske Rederier and Finans Danmark, who have worked together in the Government Implementation Council for a recommendation to the government to fight for maintaining the rules.
"We know Danmarks Skibskredit as a good partner for Danish shipping, which since 2000 has paid loans to the Danish Shipowners’ Association for more than 50 billion DKK.

As the growth team stated, the ability to raise capital is crucial for new growth. Therefore, Denmark has a clear interest in maintaining a competitive ship credit. I therefore hope that the government will follow the committee's recommendation," says Jakob Ullegård, director of Danske Rederier.

If ships in the future are not categorized as real estate, but will be put in a group by themselves, the required liquidity will be more expensive and the interest rate will be higher.

"If you separate the mortgage market and ships, it will result in a higher interest rate when ships are put in a class by themselves. There is no academic evidence for this as ships have been proven solid in both good and bad times. In fact, there are no examples of breach of bonds issued by financial institutions with ships as collateral," says Erik I. Lassen, Managing Director of Danmarks Skibskredit.

The relevant committee in the government is expected to consider the recommendation of the Implementation Council at the end of June.

Source: Danske Rederier / Maritime Denmark

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