The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) plans to improve maritime financing in line with the strategy of enhancing the country’s status as a maritime hub.
“Being a financial hub of the region, Singapore has strong, reasonable finance supports for the shipping industry in providing good old-fashioned ship finance services. However, in this area, we think that more can be done to improve the overall situation in capital market and create investment awareness,” Esben Poulsson, president of the SSA told IHS Maritime on 18 August.
Spearheading this initiative, the SSA will actively engage its member in conducting shipping finance seminars in collaboration with the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX). These sessions will act as an information-sharing tool among members and attract potential investment in the shipping sector.
“We want to attract even more shipowners to raise funds in the platform provided by Singapore. The investors are here, the funds are here, there is a lot of liquidity here and lots of gaps in the market,” said Lee Keng Mun, council member of the SSA.
However, Lee noted that there is still much work-in-progress in raising awareness amid the current shipping-market downturn.
“In shipping segments, some are not doing well, while some others are doing better. For example, the tanker market at the moment is quite healthy, the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) market look quite interesting,” said Poulsson highlighting the positive upticks in the overall bearish market.
“There are companies looking at listings in New York and also at other elite locations. In this regard, we have to find our chances,” said Poulsson.
Besides focusing on ship finance, the association will also look at three broad areas: tripartism (this refers to collaboration among unions, employers and the government), development clauses for the Singapore war-risk mutual, and the development of the next generation of maritime leaders.