Is ready for growth
As far as ship financing is concerned, as I said before, we have to be realistic. It is not our aim to finance new-builds, but most likely smaller, second hand vessels. How and when we launch this service does indeed depend on the state of the global shipping industry.
A glut of new-builds, combined with a global recession has led to significant oversupply and as a result charter rates have plummeted. But vessels have an expiry date and the trends indicate there comes a point when demand does meet supply and then charter rates should correct upwards. When this will happen exactly is difficult to foretell so we have to be prudent, but we do want to participate and contribute to that
As I said before, we should only really do this when we are ready and we are not quite ready, so I have no major deals in the pipeline.
Hellenic Bank is a Cypriot bank and we have more than enough on our plate at the moment to keep us busy here. In fact, an overseas expansion could distract us from the job at hand.
Therefore, I foresee for the medium term that we will remain Cyprus-centric. For the long term? I don’t know but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. In the meantime, I have not looked at any non-Cyprus opportunities.