The Export-Import Bank of China plans to step up lending to Greek shipowners to help finance new ship orders at Chinese yards, Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
The state-controlled bank is expected to announce a new US$300 million loan facility later this month during a visit to Greece by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The move comes amid signs of a recovery in global shipping following a protracted industry downturn.
With the new credit facility, the Exim Bank’s overall exposure to Greece will total US$1.3 billion, according to the report. The new facility follows a similar commitment by the bank last year, when it pledged to lend Greeks some US$230 million for new ship contracts.
Commercial relations between Greece and China have deepened in recent years, particularly in shipping. Greek shipowners are the biggest clients at Chinese shipyards, and also the biggest borrowers from Chinese banks to help finance those new vessels, the Journal noted.
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