The Export-Import Bank of China has agreed to lend $370 million to two state-owned conglomerates contracted to build five oil ships for Iran. The deal marks the largest loan yet by the Eximbank, which was founded in 1994 to help finance Chinese machinery exports. The loans to China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. and China Shipbuilding Trading
Co. Ltd. reportedly carry export credit insurance worth $500 million.
The contracts with Iran are China's first
to build and export oil ships of the 300,000-tonnage size, marking a breakthrough for the domestic shipbuilding industry.