NordLB: No Shipping Rebound Before 2016

By MarEx 2014-12-03 05:51:00

The shipping sector will unlikely see a broad recovery before 2016, the chief executive of NordLB, one of the world's larger ship lenders said, striking a more pessimistic tone than earlier this year.

"We expect to post substantial 2015 loan loss provisions for ships," Gunter Dunkel told journalists late on Tuesday, adding the bank needed to be 'cautious' regarding its 2015 earnings.

In spring, the bank - which is expecting to keep its shipping loan book stable at 17 billion euros ($21 billion) next year - had said that it expected a recovery as early as 2015.

Price pressure on container ships and on charter rates remains high, despite a rebound in prices in a few ship asset classes, board member Eckhard Forst said.

Before the financial crisis, NordLB like many German banks pushed into the business of lending to the companies transporting the world's burgeoning trade in goods and raw materials, propelling Germany to the top spot in ship lending worldwide.

But the global economic downturn of the past five years has crimped trade flows, even as the supply of ships ordered during the boom years continued to rise, wiping out the profits that shippers need to pay off their loans and punching holes in the balance sheets of the banks that made them.

Copyright Reuters 2014.