Chinese leasing houses are facing challenges in ship finance, with the lowest volume of financings in memory expected for this year.

But one big name has chosen 2021 to make its entry into the sector.

Citic Financial Leasing has existed since 2015 as a renminbi-only asset financier, but shifted to an international strategy at the beginning of this year. In April, it hired Bill Guo Fangmeng away from ICBC Financial Leasing to start its new shipping portfolio.

Guo told TradeWinds he is in negotiations for three or four shipping deals, any one of which might by Citic FL's first.