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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

CEXIM signs $1bn financing framework agreement with CMA CGM

Chinese bank CEXIM signed a major $1 billion financing framework agreement with French shipping giant CMA CGM today. The deal was one of two major economic partnerships signed as part of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang visit to  the group’s headquarters in Marseille.

The second agreement is for an on-going strategic partnership between China Merchants (CMHI) and CMA CGM to develop the strategic “One Belt, One Road” project.

“Those two agreements strengthen the ties between CMA CGM and Chinese groups, and confirm CMA CGM’s position in China. They are in line with the CMA CGM Group’s development strategy in China,” a CMA CGM spokesperson commented.

The financing agreement with CEXIM, otherwise known as the Export-Import Bank of China, will cover loans and/or export credit insurance for future vessels and containers the group may order in China. To date, CMA CGM has ordered the majority of its containers from Chinese group CIMC.

In the second semester of 2015 CMA CGM expects to take delivery of three Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV) from Chinese shipyards. The new ULCV will be the largest in CMA CGM’s fleet with capacity of 18,000 TEU each.

One Belt, One Road

While the framework approved today provides the financial basis for CMA CGM’s future growth in China, the strategic focus has been on the  companies involvement in the One Belt, One Road project. Described by CMA CGM as “most certainly the world’s most ambitious infrastructures development project”  the deal signed today with CMHI is expected to play a significant role in shaping future policy.

“CMA CGM and China Merchants (CMHI) will agree on a common and primary interest…to investigate and evaluate together, as their priority, the investment opportunities,” a spokesperson commented.

The plans envisage a 21st century silk road that will link South East Asia to Oceania, East Africa, North Africa and Europe by a series of connected ports and megahubs, in order to secure imports and exports to and from China.

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