HSH Nordbank Sets Sights on South Korea

German lender HSH Nordbank is focusing its international shipping business on South Korea through the announced cooperation with the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) and Busan, Korea’s second-largest city after the capital Seoul. 

The collaboration comprises projects involving finance for Korean and international shipping 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.

“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, HSH Nordbank Management Board member.

“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.”

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.

The mayors of Hamburg and Busan, Olaf Scholz and Suh Byung-soo also signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the areas of maritime industry, logistics, trade and others.