IMDO Press Release:
23rd October, 2017: The Financial Centres Summit took place in Dublin Castle on Tuesday 17th October and addressed the key issues facing growth-oriented financial services businesses. Each of the sessions at the Summit offered cutting edge analysis, with an emphasis on innovations, Fintech, and developments in the context of the major world forces at play in finance in 2017-2018, such as Brexit, new regulatory developments in the US, the EU and globally, and the continued rise in importance of Asia and the Far East in the world financial services trade picture.
As part of the Summit, the Irish Marine Development Office, with a special responsibility for the development of shipping services in Ireland, lead a Special Session at the Summit that examined Shipping Finance potentials in Ireland in an asset financing context including structured finance, banking, capital markets, and the legal, competition, and taxation aspects. The discussion was one of several Special Sessions at the Summit.
The session was chaired by Vincent Power (Partner, A&L Goodbody) and the panel included Liam Lacey (Director, Irish Maritime Development Office), Garry Burke (Global Head Structured Finance, Standard Chartered Bank) and Yvonne Thompson (Tax Partner, PwC). A lively discussion ensued and the key points and opportunities for Irish maritime business were identified and discussed.
The Irish Government officially pledged its support for industry in 2012 with “Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth: An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland”. Liam Lacey spoke of the “marinisation” agenda which aims to leverage and extend the activities of the IFSC, Aviation Leasing and the ICT cluster into the shipping industry in Ireland.
The ship finance market supports $1.3 trillion dollars’ worth of assets across the shipping and offshore industry with a $290 billion global order book at the start of 2016. The latest quarterly report from Clarksons Platou Securities believes investment opportunities in the shipping industry could perhaps be the best in 30 years with many believing markets have “bottomed out” in 2016. The shipping industry has a fleet size of 87,700 versus 23,480 in the aviation industry – the overall scale of opportunity is large.
A number of industry specific factors and macroeconomic trends present Ireland with a strategic window of opportunity to compete in the maritime commerce arena given the country’s competitive advantages. A decline in traditional forms of financing, an increase in new forms of finance, the growing role of Chinese leasing banks, industry consolidation and restructuring, BEPS and Brexit all combine to boost Ireland’s ambitions. Key sectors with great potential for Ireland are; finance and operating leasing, lease operation and management, regulated investment funds and capital markets, insurance, commercial banking and ICT.
A key development in the sector is the proposed International Shipping Services Centre (ISSC) in Cork. ISSC is a concept proposal to create a world-class cluster of international shipping orientated companies centred in Cork Docklands. It is also a major urban regeneration scheme led by a group of individual and well-established property developers who plan to provide appropriate commercial, residential, and cultural amenities within the ISSC.