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09 Oct 2023

Overview of a Japanese Operating Lease (with call option) in the Shipping sector

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The Japanese Operating Lease with Call Option or JOLCO has become an increasingly popular source of financing in shipping over recent years. In essence, JOLCO financings are similar to conventional sale and leaseback transactions but benefit from tax advantages that allow the shipowner to reduce its cost of financing due to the tax benefits achieved by the Japanese investors. The combination of this attractive overall cost of capital and the availability of 100% funding make it is easy to see why it is an appealing structure to shipowners. On the other hand, the intricacies of the structure will mean that it is not suitable for every transaction. As such having a working understanding of the JOLCO structure is important in order for shipowners to consider it and diversify their sources of capital.

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