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Maritime trade fair set for September in Germany

Experts will discuss the potential and prospects for new-boat financing models at the SMM Ship Finance Forum, an international maritime trade fair in Hamburg, Germany.

The biennial conference, to be held Sept. 9-12, will be titled “A New Beginning.”

"The Ship Finance Forum has become an essential event in the maritime calendar. Through its close affiliation with SMM it enjoys excellent visibility as Hamburg assumes its role as the undisputed world capital of shipping," Max Johns, managing director of the Germany Shipowners Association (Verband Deutscher Reeder, VDR) and a member of the trade event for the global industry, said in a statement.

Johns also teaches ship finance at the Hamburg School of Business Administration.

The conference will focus on the continued challenges of boat and yacht financing.

In spite of low new-boat prices, the total number of ship orders is declining around the world, according to SMM organizers. Financing difficulties are part of the problem and new concepts are in demand to revitalize the market.

"In ship finance we have to address two separate issues: On the one hand, we need to put the fleet in service on a more solid financial basis,” Johns said. “After a five-year double crisis — one affecting the financial, the other the shipping markets — that may be a tall order. On the other hand, we need to finance new tonnage to be commissioned over the next few years. In the wake of the crisis, this often calls for new partners and new conditions."

The SMM Ship Finance Forum will focus on three overarching topics:

The first part will look at current developments in the German market. U.S. investors are entering the German market in increasing numbers, primarily seeking to invest in new building projects. Yet conventional bank financing schemes continue to be in demand, as well. A Norwegian-German group of investors recently established a new ship financing bank.

The second segment, titled "Shipyards: Financing Shipbuilding, Financing Exports", will examine the efforts of many shipyards to finance exports.

Part three, "Global Financing Trends — Bonds, Leasing, IPOS," will highlight alternative financing models in the market that compete with traditional schemes.

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