October 13 - In a report issued this week, Moody's Investors Service said that German ship lenders are facing increasing risks from the prolonged global shipping industry crisis, with their exposure to the industry remaining significantly higher than that
In Moody's report, entitled 'German Ship Lenders - Peer Comparison: Large exposure to the shipping sector will require further provisioning', Swen Metzler, vice president - senior analyst at Moody's said: "We believe that Bremer Landesbank Kreditanstalt Oldenburg GZ (BremerLB), DVB Bank S.E. (DVB), HSH Nordbank AG (HSH), KfW IPEX-BANK GmbH (KfW IPEX) and Norddeutsche Landesbank GZ (NORD/LB) are the five German banks most vulnerable to a prolonged shipping downturn.
"These banks face the risk of persistently high loan-loss provisioning, downward pressure on their profitability, and their ability to build capital."
Shipping exposures at these five German ship lenders still accounted for 350 percent of their Tier 1 capital at the end of 2015, up from 328 percent in 2012 and the aggregate problem loan ratio from shipping exposure for this group of banks rose to 30 percent in 2015 from 20 percent in 2012, about 3.5 times higher than their overall problem loan ratios, claims Moody's report.
Ship leverage has also increased since 2012 - measured as shipping exposure relative to Tier 1 capital - except for HSH, notes Moody's.
"DVB's exposure is now more than 12 times its Tier 1 capital, up from 9.4 times three years ago, with BremerLB at 4.7 times, up from 4.5 times," explains Metzler.
"For KfW IPEX and NORD/LB, leverage has risen to 2.7 and 2.3 times their capital."
Although HSH cut its shipping loan book and reduced its leverage, its exposure remained at EUR23.9 billion (USD26.34 billion) as of year-end 2015, the highest in volume terms amongst German banks and 3.9 times its capital, according to the rating agency.
In contrast, Commerzbank AG's, UniCredit Bank AG's, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale's, and Landesbank Hessen-Thueringen GZ's ship exposure, is less than their Tier 1 capital, and in aggregate, they have reduced their shipping exposure by around 45 percent between 2012 and 2015, says Moody's.