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The rise and fall of German shipping

The massive capital influx from German banks and private investors, who at one time invested around EUR 20 billion every year in the country’s shipping industry, has come to an end. However, the arrival of private equity funds seems to be a far from painless process.

EUR 20 billion back when everything was good. That was how much private German citizens - with the support of the country’s numerous shipping banks – were investing in new ships every year, ships that were operated by German companies through highly complex corporate structures. That is, until the global financial crisis also knocked the international shipping industry off its feet.

Today, this flood of capital coming from the German middleclass and from affluent citizens, who through tax benefits from investing in limited partnership companies – Kommanditgesellschafts, or KG companies, in short – were pumping their savings or surplus liquidity into the German controlled companies that were operating the ships, or chartering them to carriers, particularly within the container and dry bulk segments.

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