Greek Shipping Oligarchs Rely on Greek, Cypriot Banks for Funding

ATHENS – Greece’s shipowners, who still rule the world’s waves but are facing challenges from China and Japan, get almost a third of their loans from Greek or Cypriot banks but buy ships made in other countries.

Petrofin Research said the total loan portfolio of Greek shipping at the end of 2023 amounted to $50.89 billion, of which $15.799 billion came from Greek and Cypriot banks with the market share reaching 31.05 percent.

According to the same data, Greek banks showed a small decrease compared to 2022, by around 1 billion euros ($1.07 billion) said the business site Naftemporiki, as the financial sector continued to come back from a 2010-18 austerity crisis


UBS (Credit Suisse) loaned Greek shipping oligarchs $5.1 billion, outpacing all the Greek and Cypriot banks, with Eurobank second at $4 billion, then Piraeus Bank with $3.7 billion, Alpha Bank with $3.695 billion and National Bank at $3.329 billion.

Those are the country’s big banks but Aegean Baltic Bank registered well with loans of $414.03 million, Bank of Cyprus with $320 million and Hellenic Bank coming in with $220 million, followed by Pancreta Bank’s $74.25 million and Astrobank’s $44 million.

Xclusiv Shipbrokers said there were 751 tankers with a capacity of 66.3 million Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) were under construction at the end of April as Greek shipping continued to expand, enjoying an essentially tax-free status. Some 30 percent were for Greek companies.


The orderbook corresponds to 9.9 percent of the fleet in terms of vessels and 9.6 percent in DWT, the highest since May 2019 when it was 9.64 percent, the sie said, adding that crude tankers represented 7.4 percent of the fleet in DWT.


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