A new vessel leasing fund, specifically designed for African shipowners, is to be presented by Damen at its first Fishing Seminar being held in Cape Town this month. The fund is of particular interest to smaller, private vessel owners, according to Damen’s finance manager Francesco Verschuren, who will be speaking at the seminar on 22nd November.
‘We are using our years of experience to support them with their vessel financing based on a leasing agreement,’ said Francesco Verschuren, a specialist in financing for the African market, adding that Damen has delivered more than 1200 vessels to customers in Africa over the years.
He commented that each lease agreement is tailored to the customer, who begins by chartering the vessel for a certain number of years, while at the same time repaying the loan and the applicable interest. They then have the option to purchase the vessel during the tenure of the agreement and the obligation after the repayment period.
Damen’s Africa Ship Leasing fund provides shipowners an option when they don’t necessarily have the cash to make a large down payment on a vessel, which is the case in traditional financing arrangements with a bank, or when local financing solutions are not available.
‘By making use of the Africa fund, customers can own a Damen vessel in just a few years and tap into new business opportunities straightaway. Financing a new vessel from the fund has the advantage of being both very flexible and each lease agreement is custom-made to the shipowner’s requirements,’ he said, commenting that vessels can be built locally at Damen Shipyards Cape Town or at one of Damen’s shipyards worldwide.
Africa Ship Leasing was established in May 2018 and is already assisting owners in both Nigeria and Angola. Financing is available in both Euros or USD Dollars, and Africa Ship Leasing is partnering first class Dutch banks.
Francesco Verschuren will be available to answer any questions during the conference and to explain the possibilities in more detail on a one-to-one basis. In addition, he can outline more traditional financing arrangements. Damen works closely with Atradius DSB, the official Export Credit Agency of the Netherlands.
Through holding the first Fishing Seminar, Damen is aiming to create a platform whereby the industry can come together with the government and exchange information about the latest developments in the sector and the new technologies and innovative ideas driving the growth of a sustainable fishing industry.
Leading industry figures and representatives from the Department of Trade & Industry and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will be attending the event.
The programme kicks off at 0900 hours on November 22 with guest registration at Damen Shipyards Cape Town. After the speeches there will be time for questions and the afternoon session, followed by a tour of Damen Shipyards Cape Town.