Shipping revenues have grown by 20 per cent in four years, and Greek banks’ exposure in the shipping sector is in excess of €8 billion, most of it in foreign currency (US dollars).
Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras said on Wednesday that growth in the industry took place despite the imposition of capital controls in 2015, highlighting how shipping has contributed to the Greek economy during an event organised by the Hellenic Bank Association and the financial executives of Greek Shipping.
Mr Stournaras also noted that the Greek economy shows a dynamism based largely on the confidence of the Greek and international banking system in the country, facilitating the financing of fleet expansion and renewal.
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Greek shipping maintains preferential access in bank financing and did not need to seek alternative and more expensive forms of financing, while foreign banks which opted to leave Greece during the crisis maintained their shipping loan portfolios in the country.
The Greek merchant shipping fleet surpassed 3,000 for the first time at the end of 2018, with capacity exceeding the 200-million-ton level for the first time this year.