Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) is struggling to buy six container ships as loans to fund their procurement have not been approved by relevant government agencies. BSC signed a memorandum of understanding with Australian company AIS Marine and Offshore in a bid to purchase the ships last September. AIS Marine presented two proposals; one was a $300m loan at an interest rate of 0.55% with a three-year grace period and a 25-year repayment plan, and the other saw AIS Marine assist BSC to receive a negotiated-market-rate loan from an AAA-rated international financial institution. Finance Department officials have disputed the interest rates proposed by AIS, asserting that they are not feasible.
BSC, which has a fleet of eight ships comprising bulk carriers and oil and chemical tankers, aims to offer a container shuttle, short sea shipping and mainline services by acquiring the new vessels. Due to the government’s lack of credit guarantee, BSC’s acquisition efforts have stalled. The country’s Treasury Department wants to wait for feedback from its Economics Relations Division before providing any guarantees. Government agencies may only claim a supplier loan if they are unable to obtain a soft loan through the Economics Relations Division. BSC has maintained that it has exhausted all other options before approaching the Treasury Department.
Tags: Bangladesh Shipping Corporation,Container Shipping,Shipping news