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A syndicate of banks has lent US$318mn for the purchase of five container ships, supported by Korean export credit agencies (ECAs).

CMB Financial Leasing will acquire the ships, which will be chartered by Seaspan Corporation, a container management company. The syndicate of banks was led and co-ordinated by Citi and co-arranged by Dekabank Deutsche Girozentrale. The Development Bank of Japan was a mandated lead arranger, while E-Sun Commercial Bank and KEB Hana Bank acted as lead arrangers.

The South Korean ECA Kexim joined as a lender and provided a guarantee for the commercial portion of the financing. Watson Farley & Williams, a law firm, acted as lead counsel to the lenders.

The vessels are to be constructed by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines.

“We were delighted to have been involved in such a significant financing which connects ECAs and well-known international lenders with the debt funding of Chinese leasing houses. This deal highlights that collaboration between financial institutions and ECAs in supporting the active Chinese leasing community is crucial to the on-going capital intensive needs of key players in the maritime sector,” says WFW partner Christoforos Bisbikos.