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.

Products and capabilities

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

SMBC Group is experienced in complex advisory and modelling roles carried early on for specific transactions pursued by its customers, and, in addition, 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 is financing 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
  • Capital markets N

Capital markets N

  • Structured interest rate swaps
  • Bunker fuel hedging
  • Bond issues (Samurai bonds and private placements)
  • Equity issues in Japan

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 SMBC LF
N Products and services provided by SMBC Nikko Capital Markets Ltd and SMBC Nikko Capital Markets Europe GmbH

LNG shipping

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 over 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 pro-eminent 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.

Diversified maritime industries

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.

Export credit agencies

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.