The ABN Amro group has opened a representative office in Athens, Greece.

The office will be part of Fortis Bank Nederland’s energy, commodities and transport (ECT) network and comes on the cusp of ABN Amro and Fortis Bank Nederland’s merger on July 1.

The office will be used to bolster the bank’s shipping finance activities in the Greek market.

Harris Antoniou, chief executive officer of ECT, comments: “We are very pleased with this major step in re-establishing our international network. The Greek shipping market is one of the world’s most important shipping markets and we are delighted to once again be on the ground here, close to our clients. Demand is strong for specialised shipping finance services in the Greek market.”

Gust Biesbroek, managing director of the transportation group, responsible for the bank’s shipping finance activities, adds: “Our local presence will help us to better serve our longstanding relationships in Greece and to identify new opportunities. We believe our presence here is crucial in order to successfully execute our business model and we are pleased to have received the approval to do so.”