Finance for ships and maritime assets

SMBC Group has been active in financing ships for more than 50 years in Japan and abroad. The bank’s strong balance sheet and natural dedication to shipping guarantees long-term support to the industry.

As an international bank of Japanese origins, SMBC Group has a global maritime finance network, anchoring the bank’s worldwide presence for the benefit of its customers around the globe.


SMBC Group works closely with maritime customers to arrange sustainable finance, support emissions reduction and help them transition towards a decarbonised economy.

The bank has a strategic focus on advising, arranging and financing high value-added, industrial shipping projects, usually as part of an extensive integrated logistics chain.

SMBC Group is experienced in complex advisory and modelling roles carried out at an early stage for specific transactions pursued by its customers, as well as coordinating financing projects involving multiple parties, including export credit agencies.

The bank’s overall commitment to the industry is illustrated by the number of ships it finances internationally, which currently exceeds 500 and counting. SMBC Group has dedicated global shipping teams in London, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo.

Structured debt and leasing

  • Senior mortgaged loan
  • Limited recourse financing
  • Acquisition finance
  • Junior and mezzanine debt
  • Export credit agency (ECA)
  • Leasing and Japanese operating leases with call option (Jolco) L
  • Green and sustainability-linked loans

Capital markets N

  • Equity capital markets
  • Corporate bonds and high-yield bonds
  • Green and sustainability-linked bonds
  • Project bonds
  • Private placement
  • Structured interest rate swaps

Appetite and capability

  • Lead arranging
  • Agency
  • Syndications and bookrunning
  • Sizeable take-and-hold
  • Long tenors
  • Wide range of sectors


L Products and services provided by SMFL and SMBCL
N Products and services provided by SMBC Nikko



The Poseidon Principles are the world’s first sector specific, self-governing climate alignment agreement amongst financial institutions. As a signatory to the principles, SMBC Group will further enhance its actions towards addressing the risks of climate change, by conducting its business in a manner that contributes both to the growth of its customers and society more broadly.


SMBC Group is a world leader in liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping finance, and benefits from strong in-house market expertise and extensive arrangement capabilities involving a large panel of financing products and solutions.

SMBC Group has been involved in the financing of over 150 LNG tankers, as debt provider or financial advisor. Its experience spans both the Pacific and Atlantic basins, and includes export and import projects covering a wide range of situations and countries.

The bank benefits overall from a prominent position in the financing of the LNG chain, including production plants, ships and regasification terminals, and will continue to support the growth of the LNG industry.


Financing throughout the maritime segments

  • LNG carriers and floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs)
  • Cruise ships
  • Container ships and boxes
  • Oil, product and chemical tankers
  • Shuttle tankers
  • Floating, storage and offloading (FSO) and other offshore vessels
  • Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tankers and ethane carriers
  • Dry bulk carriers
  • Car carriers
  • Ferries and roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessels
  • Others

See project finance for financing of port infrastructure.


The SMBC Group has specific and long-standing expertise in arranging export credits for ships.

Its extensive track record in working closely on maritime transactions with ECAs includes the three largest shipbuilding nations, namely South Korea, China and Japan. SMBC Group’s experience includes various sole arranger and agency roles with each of the main Asian ECAs, such as Jbic, Nexi, Kexim, K-sure, Cexim and Sinosure. The bank’s maritime finance activities also involve close work with European and other non-Asian ECAs, such as Bpifrance, Atradius, Hermes, Eksportkreditt Norge and GIEK.

SMBC Group’s experience is built of various sole arranger and agency roles with most of the main ECAs.

The bank offers expert maritime finance officers and local export credit specialists, ensuring a tight coordination and smooth execution for the benefit of its customers.

See structured export finance for more information on export and agency finance.