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Asia Seen Matching Europe’s Importance in Shipping-Market Survey

Asia and Europe are equally important as markets for global shipping, while London is the industry’s leading financial center, according to Norton Rose LLP, an international law firm.

Asia and Europe were each ranked as the leading market by 39 percent of respondents in the shipping industry, the law firm said in a report published this month without a date. Forty percent said London was best able to meet the industry’s financing needs, against 15 percent for New York and 13 percent for Singapore, according to the survey of more than 1,000 people in shipping, aviation and rail. This year was the first time the survey posed those questions since it began in 2009.

As shipping suffered more than other transportation industries since the global recession, 58 percent of respondents tried to change their market position or geographic focus since 2010, Norton Rose said in a statement with the report. Forty-two percent named financial constraint as the most important change to their business since 2010, leading 26 percent to consider using structured finance and 23 percent to use or consider private equity for the first time, according to the report.

“In line with the development of China and India as economic powers, Asia has been the most buoyant shipping market for a number of years,” Philip Roche, co-head of shipping at Norton Rose, said in the statement. “While London and to some extent New York remain key financial and legal service centers for the shipping industry, Singapore has successfully positioned itself as an increasingly important legal and financial center for shipping and this trend will doubtless continue.”

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