HSH Nordbank AG, the world’s largest shipping lender, said new loans to businesses surged about 30 percent this year, after Moody’s Investors Service warned of rising default risks in the maritime industry.
Fifteen German banks whose debt is guaranteed by the German state, including HSH Nordbank AG and Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale had their outlooks raised to stable from negative at Moody’s Investors Service, which cited an upgrade last week to Germany’s sovereign bonds.
HSH Nordbank AG, a German regional lender bailed out during the financial crisis, sued Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley over more than $634 million in residential mortgage-backed securities.
With a former HSH Nordbank AG executive nicknamed “Dr. No” and a collateralized-debt obligation transaction called Omega 55, the first German criminal trial over the financial crisis could be the backdrop for a James Bond thriller.
Private-equity and hedge funds are accumulating shipping debt at the fastest pace since they began buying the risky loans from banks two years ago, raising prospects of the firms eventually owning the vessels.
HSH Nordbank AG’s main owners, the German federal states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, are willing to replenish the world’s largest shipping lender’s guarantees as the bank struggles with a shipping industry in crisis.