Wed, Apr 25, 2012 - Page 12 News List

First Bank signs loan with US shipper

Staff writer, with CNA

First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) yesterday said its banking arm, First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), had signed an agreement with US-based shipper Foremost Group (福茂集團) on a seven-year US$37 million syndicated loan.

Under the agreement, First Bank will serve as the lead manager of the syndicated loan, extending US$27 million to Foremost Group, while Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行), the largest lender in the country, will provide the -remaining US$10 million.

First Bank said the Foremost Group would use the loan to finance the construction of a 206,000 tonne energy-efficient bulk carrier to be named Qing May (青梅號).

China State Shipbuilding Corp (中船集團) has been commissioned to construct the vessel in Shanghai.

According to the bank, Foremost Group, established in the US in 1964, is headquartered in New York, and operates branches in Shanghai and Hong Kong with a fleet of 13 bulk carriers.

James Chao (趙錫成), founder of the shipping company, has more than four decades of experience in the international shipping business, the bank said.

Chao is the father of Elaine Chao (趙小蘭), who was born in Taiwan and is a former US secretary of labor.

The bank said it was the first time it had made a syndicated loan involving Taiwan, New York and Shanghai, after years of effort to integrate its worldwide financial resources and operations.

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