Whereas the Southampton Boat Show last September seemed promising for the marine market, January’s London Boat Show was significantly emptier than it was in 2009.
It may be the case that manufacturers and attendees no longer feel the need for two shows in four months, and have plumped for the more international event at Southampton.
Whatever the case, finance is still being provided – Barclays and Lombard were exhibiting as always and several brokers were seen making the rounds for the first time.
Most interestingly, ING Lease seems to be showing a renewed interest in the marine market – an area it has not been particularly active in over the past four years. Business will be done at the lessor’s marine finance headquarters in Nice, suggesting that the French market is seeing a revival. Introducers in the UK are aware of the lessor’s renewed appetite, despite ING’s absence at the recent UK shows.
Ian Jackson, MD of Quartz Finance, a recent entrant into the marine market, said: “The consensus from exhibitors seemed to be that numbers were down, but confidence was higher.
“The stock depletion strategies of 2009 seem to have steadied the market for gradual, sustained growth from 2010, with the UK second-hand market being quite strong given the relative weakness of sterling.”
Meanwhile, Barclays Marine Finance reported that last year had seen a period where demand for used stock had outstripped supply, but that optimism generated in the summer show season had been dampened by a “not fantastic” autumn and winter.
Nevertheless, said Barclays Marine Finance sales head, James Crew, “‘distressed’ sales appear to be over, and an air of stability and moderation has returned. Borrowers now understand the need for good disclosure, and appear more tolerant and much more willing to work with us by furnishing us with the information we need more quickly.”
Crew pointed to a €9 million loan on a €46 million motor yacht, which had been approved in only four days, as an example of recent business it has signed.
BMF’s average loan in 2009 was £317,000 (€360,000) – some 20 percent less than the average during 2008.
Average loan to value ratio was reported at 60 percent, higher than 56 percent in 2008. BMF is currently lending at 2.5 percent over finance house base rate.