Germany s HSH Nordbank Says Aims To Buy Shipping Loans From Other...

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By Jonathan Saul

LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) - Germany's HSH Nordbank, once the world's biggest ship financier, aims to buy shipping loans from other banks and make new investments in the industry as it emerges from years of turmoil, a top bank official said.

The bank's regional government owners are selling the lender to buyout groups Cerberus Capital Management and J.C. Flowers, with investors GoldenTree, Centaurus Capital and Austrian bank BAWAG also taking stakes.

"HSH, at the end of this process of privatisation, will for the first time since 2008 be restored. We will not have the same restrictions we faced or the pressures to reduce bad debt," Christian Nieswandt, global head of shipping with HSH Nordbank, told Reuters.

"We are looking to re-invest in the shipping space and are looking for high quality business," he said, adding the bank had an annual budget of 700 million euros until 2022 to invest in new shipping business, including buying loans from other banks.

Segments of the shipping industry, which transports 90 percent of the world´s goods including oil, download youtube online food and industrial products such as coal and iron ore, are coming out of a near-decade long slump with players looking for opportunities.

(Additional reporting by Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt Editing by Edmund Blair)