Against the backdrop that Nigerian banks often shy away from investing in shipping, especially vessel acquisition, BusinessDay probes show Skye, Diamond, Fidelity and First banks as four major commercial banks that have taken the lead to invest in that sector.
The probe further reveals that Skye, Diamond, Fidelity and First banks, have over time, invested multiple millions of dollars as debt financing and equity stake required by indigenous shipping companies to acquire vessels for marine support, crew carriers, barges and oil tankers.
Earlier in the year for instance, First Bank of Nigeria Limited increased the capability of one of its corporate customers, Petrolog Inc, by funding the acquisition of a multi-purpose support marine vessel, an investment valued over $75 million.
Petrolog is a frontline indigenous service provider in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry, which provides subsea solutions and vessel chartering services in Nigeria and across the continent.
This, the management of First Bank says, was part of its drive to improve the local content participation in the nation’s maritime sector, including oil and gas industries, so that wealth and job opportunities can be created for Nigerians.
Skye Bank has also been identified as maritime and shipping friendly, due to some notable investment made in vessel acquisition, which has also helped in improving the fortunes of Nigerian ship owners.