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Old January 22nd, 2005, 09:32 PM   #101
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reply: Hong Kong may lose title of busiest container port

This is all about investors, like whats listed :Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (0013.HK), Wharf (Holdings) Ltd.'s (0004.HK) Modern Terminal Ltd., China Merchants Holdings (International) Co. Ltd. (0144.HK) and COSCO Pacific (1199.HK) ...

They controlled the port, they can do what they want, as long as it's profitable to them. So what I mean is the cost of shipping using HK ports are quite expensive because they monopolized the ports, and rise prices to earn money. This leads to the lost attraction of customers. Please correct me if I'm wrong
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 10:53 PM   #102
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Hutchison has port interests throughout China and worldwide. They are the world's largest port operator. In fact, they're so powerful in the international arena that the US government issued a report accusing Li of colluding with the Chinese government to control the seas.

To Hutchison, it doesn't matter if Hong Kong might be 2nd or 3rd or 1st in terms of traffic. They are making money there. Similarly, Shenzhen may be a bit cheaper, but they are not as well-connected internationally and they are less efficient. Hong Kong is trying to negotiate simplified border agreements to simplify the transport of goods into Hong Kong for export. As well, the local logistics industry is implementing value-adding solutions to make them more competitive. The bridge to Macau / Zhuhai will open up the western delta to send goods to Hong Kong for export rather than have them go to Guangzhou.

In the end, the port operators will gain because they are well-diversified throughout China. Hong Kong's port is still growing, but Shenzhen is growing even faster. Since they have stakes in both ports, it's all nice, isn't it? Hong Kong's container port is still very attractive. Singapore investors tried to pay a huge premium to buy a stake last year, but they were thwarted by an even larger bid by Dubai.
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 12:41 AM   #103
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Wow really? Hutchison (or the Li's family) are really that powerful in the international arena? Well then I guess they will do the job for to increase competitiveness for their ports, that means lots of places in China. Cause they need to earn money for themselves and stock owners. Small characters like us don't need to worry..haha. I'm just wondering are they doing the same thing like in "Hong Kong Electric Group", by monopolizing the market, and keep increasing the electric prices even when the economy for lower and middle classes are bad. Well but the bridge to Macau/Zhuhai proves that they (including the government) are working. And this proves that HK's port still have spaces to grow, am I right? And also ports in the mainland would grow, this is good for the whole region, including Singapore and other South east Asia.

Hey HKskyline, any information on port facilities of HK? Stuffs like the maximum capacity, volume, and handled capacity in 2004...etc? Is HK's port nearly exceeded to maximum? Is there a need to build more port facilities?
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Old January 25th, 2005, 03:42 PM   #104
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Hong Kong retains box crown
21 January 2005
Journal of Commerce Online

Hong Kong's shipping traffic grew 7 percent in 2004, to 21.93 million TEUs, up from 20.45 million TEUs in 2003, but regional rivals continue to gain on the world's busiest container port complex.

In December, Hong Kong's volume slipped 2.9 percent from the same period in 2003.

Most of the shipping though Hong Kong comes though the Kwai Chung container terminals, where volume increased 11.2 percent from a year ago, to 13.43 million TEUs. But growth may be constrained since no new berths are planned at Hong Kong until 2015 at the earliest.

By contrast, the mainland's neighboring Shenzhen complex of the Yantian, Chiwan, and Shekou terminals together handled 13.65 million TEUs in 2004, up 28 percent year-on-year, and there are plans to add new berths to expand port capacity, according to the city's Port Development Council.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 03:47 PM   #105
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Cosco lines up spending spree in Hong Kong
26 January 2005
Lloyd's List

COSCO is mustering its various corporate divisions into a dress parade centred on Hong Kong, writes Sam Chambers.

Cosco Pacific, the ports and box leasing arm, has unveiled a $700m spree in 2005 alone, split between terminals and new containers. In a meeting with Hong Kong analysts, the company also stirred up expectations for other group company moves.

The market expects Cosco will list its Cosco Container Lines by mid-summer, raising $1bn. There are also indications that Cosco Container Lines is preparing for dramatic fleet expansion from the current 250,000 teu, as it attempts to match the meteoric growth of China Shipping Container Line.

Cosco has also signalled that it will shift the majority shareholding of Cosco Pacific from the hands of Cosco Hong Kong, back to the Beijing headquarters.

Such a streamlining will make Cosco Hong Kong a pure dry bulk shipping unit. As such, it would be another perfect listing candidate.

These initiatives, flashed for analysts this week, appear to be the biggest burst of Cosco brand efforts since the bravado surrounding the 1997 handover of Hong Kong, when the company first started to pump assets into Cosco Pacific.

This was also the era when Cosco Hong Kong went the extra mile to display patriotic support for Hong Kong stability during the transition to Chinese rule. Cosco Hong Kong was pulled together from a patchwork of small Cosco-controlled front companies, the Cosco office skyscraper was erected and the company unveiled a big dry bulk fleet expansion for Cosco Hong Kong.

While Cosco Pacific has joined the blue chip pantheon of the Hang Seng Index, there has been a sense — including from inside Cosco itself — that rival China Shipping has stolen the initiative.

Last year the five-year-old China Shipping Container Line raised $1bn with a Hong Kong listing that seemingly jumped the queue, ahead of the bigger and older Cosco Container Lines.

China Shipping has also staked a claim to the massive Yangshan Deepwater Port in Shanghai.

Of note, perhaps in response, Cosco Pacific said it would take over the parent’s Long Beach terminal in the second half of 2005.

Other target ports on the shopping list include phase two of Dalian Container Port, two container terminals and one ro-ro terminal in Tianjin, Nanjing Container, Taicang Container and phase two of Guangzhou Nansha.

The biggest terminal will be phase two of Guangzhou Nansha, which has a capacity of 3,500 teu across six berths.

By contrast, the Long Beach terminal has a capacity of 1,500 teu across four berths, which should explain why southern California ports have been so congested, though Cosco Pacific believes that the Long Beach delays should be cleared later this year.

The company is also ordering more boxes and at higher prices.

Capital expenditure on new boxes will be $350m, as it orders 170,000 teu at a cost of $2,100 each, or 50% higher than the previous swathe of ordering at $1,400 each.

China will probably record a growth of 23% in imports and 20% in exports in 2005, China’s National Development and Reform Commission said.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 02:50 AM   #106
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i watched a RTHK tv program talking about Li's enterprise. (it was shown in 1998) i believe it is still avialable online in rthk.org.hk. They said Li control like 30% (if i remember correctly) of all port around the world back in 98. I don't know the percent now.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 03:05 AM   #107
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i don't know why HK doesn't build a railroad straight to the port (i know they got plan for that though), so all the truck traffic can be eliminated. It save time and money.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:23 PM   #108
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Modern Terminals sees 6.2% growth in first nine months

Source : Shippers today (Nov/Dec 2004)




While the shipping industry ponders the question of whether Hong Kong is indeed losing its competitive edge to ports across the border, Modern Terminals has stayed a step ahead with its innovative logistics solutions such as Inland Gate which has contributed largely to the the terminal's Hong Kong port throughput.

This year, for the first nine months alone, Modern Terminals has already registered a large volume year-on-year growth of 6.2%, handling 3,160,000 TEU. This was largely contributed by barge transshipment from the western PRD. "This is due to the fact that the western PRD is an area with significant growth and the success of the company's cost-effective, reliable integrated feeder and terminal service, Inland Gate," said Hung Hin Chau, Logistic Manager of Modern Terminals.

Under rapid service network expansion, Inland Gate service now covers 21 terminals in 11 PRD ports for major shipping lines in South China.

With the direct communication between barge operator and terminal, there is greater reliability on feeder schedule and cargo connection with high container visibility, enabling liners and shippers to monitor container movement as soon as a container enters the gate of feeder port in PRD.

"Because of the ad-vantage of the smooth operation flow in Hong Kong, regular barge departure time at PRD feeder port becomes possible. This enables shippers to accurately plan their pre-carriage arrangement, which in turn gives shippers more time for production to the last minute," said Hung.

Hung added, "Shippers can also benefit from other tailor-made and value-added services under the umbrella of Inland Gate."
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 05:52 AM   #109
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River Trade Terminal misses volume and profit targets
Operator still in red, hounded by main rivals' rate cuts and land grant litigation
Russell Barling
3 February 2005
South China Morning Post

Loss-making River Trade Terminal (RTT) fought off strong competition last year to capture more of the Pearl River Delta's river cargo, but still fell short of the three million containers management says it needs to turn its first profit.

Shareholding sources say throughput at the $6.5 billion facility rose "11 or 12 per cent" last year to about 2.5 million teu (20-foot equivalent units) despite the main terminals in Kwai Chung slashing handling fees for river trade to fill under-utilised wharves.

RTT, whose shareholders include Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hutchison Port Holdings and Jardine Matheson Holdings, next month will take the final step in its drawn-out legal battle with the government over its right to move ocean-going cargo across its docks.

It is believed that RTT relied on non-river trade for as much as 25 per cent of its business last year, much to the consternation of the government, which claims the practice is contrary to the conditions of its 1995 Land Grant. After the Court of Appeal in June overturned an earlier ruling in their favour, RTT management approached the Lands Department about changing the provisions of their lease as they are entitled to do after five years of operation.

However, Hutchison ultimately blocked the deal, according to an executive from one of the shareholding firms.

"Sun Hung Kai was eager to renegotiate the land grant, but that would have cost a premium, something Hutch wasn't willing to pay," the executive said.

"[Hutchison] does not want RTT to handle intra-Asian trade because that would eat into their core business at the main terminals," he said. "RTT has always been a defensive investment for them."

A spokesman for Hutchison declined to comment while legal proceedings were ongoing.

After watching overall volumes fall in the first quarter, the main terminal operators aggressively cut their rates for transshipment cargo, much of which moves by barge from the delta.

In the first 10 months last year they handled 1.91 million teu of river trade, up 45 per cent year on year.

But the move increased the pressure on RTT, which has not turned a profit in its first six years of operation.

RTT's trial at the Court of Final Appeal is set for March 7.
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Old February 7th, 2005, 08:37 PM   #110
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Hong Kong's NWS Holdings Sells Port Assets
Monday February 7, 5:39 am ET

HONG KONG (AP) -- Hong Kong infrastructure company NWS Holdings Ltd. said Monday it has agreed to sell its port assets here to Singapore's state-owned port operator for 3 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$385 million).

The deal marks the end of a long quest by Singapore's PSA International Pte. Ltd. to buy into Hong Kong's Kwai Chung container port -- the world's largest.

Analysts have said PSA wants to make its assets more attractive as a prelude to a stock market listing in Singapore.

But they have questioned whether PSA, the world's second-largest port operator after Hong Kong's Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd., has paid too much for NWS Holdings' stakes in two container terminals at the Kwai Chung port.

Hong Kong is quickly losing its market share to rival ports in southern China, including one in the nearby city of Shenzhen.

NWS Holdings, the infrastructure arm of Hong Kong property company New World Development Co., said it will focus on developing its mainland China operations after the sale to PSA.

NWS Holdings will a book a profit of HK$1.8 billion (US$230 million) from the sale, while PSA will acquire a 31 percent stake in Asia Container Terminal Ltd., a port operator in Kwai Chung.

Two months ago, PSA tried to acquire a 57 percent stake in Hong Kong's Asia Container Terminals Ltd. for HK$2.3 billion (US$295 million), but the deal was thwarted by the company's shareholders, including NWS.

Last month, PSA also lost a bid for a 28.5 percent stake in Asia Container Terminals to Hong Kong developer Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 03:33 PM   #111
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River Trade Terminal in loss despite 12% rise
7 February 2005
Lloyd's List

THE River Trade Terminal, now in the final stages of a bruising battle with the government over whether it can handle ocean-going vessels, had a throughput of about 2.5m teu last year, up 12%, writes Keith Wallis.

But the HK$6.5bn (US$833m) facility, completed in 1998, is still making a loss. RTT managers believe the complex, in the Tuen Mun area of Hong Kong’s north-west New Territories, would need 3m teu to be profitable.

The company is jointly owned by Hutchison Port Holdings, Sun Hung Kai Properties and Jardine Matheson Holdings. But it was hit financially after the main Kwai Chung operators slashed handling fees for barge and river trade traffic to boost use of barge wharves.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 04:15 PM   #112
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South China Morning Post
January 29, 2005
Expanding to meet volume
Growth at the world's top container port and second busiest cargo airport is expected to create new jobs, writes John Cremer

LEADING PLAYERS in the logistics industry are speaking with one voice about last year's results. If they decided to sing with one voice, they would have to choose the old Frank Sinatra standard It Was a Very Good Year.

Those are the words you hear repeatedly from people at all levels within the sector, and it is not surprising when you consider some of the key facts.

As Anthony Wong Foo-wah, president of the Hong Kong Logistics Association, is proud to point out, the city's position as the world's leading container port was maintained last year with Hong Kong handling a total of 21.93 million 20 -foot equivalent units, up 7.3 per cent from 2003. Impressive growth was also seen in airfreight, with a double-digit increase to 3.1 million tonnes, making Chek Lap Kok the world's second busiest cargo airport after Memphis, Tennessee - the hub of FedEx Express.

"We see 2005 as another good year, particularly for airfreight," Mr Wong said. "The Chinese economy is getting better, both imports and exports are rising, and infrastructure projects like the western corridor and new bridge links to Shenzhen will help the flow of cross-border traffic."

He said he was confident this would translate into further job vacancies as logistics companies opened new branches in southern China and manufacturers hired specialists to help streamline their supply chain operations.

Raymond Fan Wai-ming, Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Labour and secretary of the Hong Kong Port Development Council, shares that optimism. He emphasised that, with about 13,000 trucks crossing the border every day, continued healthy growth could be expected. Hong Kong might not always be able to compete on cost, but it still offered premium services, more connections and professional expertise.

"The good news is that the pie is getting bigger, so there is enough for everyone to have growth," he said.

"The port and logistics industry is now providing work for about 200,000 people in Hong Kong and more will be needed. It's now a highly sophisticated business, involving accountants, lawyers, banking and IT, and that is why we want to develop it on many fronts."

A ninth container terminal was completed last year and projections show that another will be needed in 10 years. The Digital Trade Transportation Network system, providing a service environment for transmitting data, is to be launched this year and - as a possible medium-term development - a logistics park on Lantau Island is being studied.

With all this happening, the government is encouraged that tertiary institutions are stepping up related courses to meet demand, and that qualified graduates are now entering the industry.

One possible destination for such graduates is TNT Express Worldwide (HK). Ambrose Linn, the company's deputy country general manager, is looking for management trainees and more experienced staff because business growth plans mean that up to 50 recruits will be added to the local workforce of 500.

"As logistics is getting more professional, employees need advanced skill sets and to understand IT solutions," Mr Linn said.

"On a personal level, they should be hard working, self-motivated, and possess great integrity, as they are dealing with high-value consignments every day and have access to sensitive commercial information."

TNT is also co-operating with the Vocational Training Council and the Labour Department to provide skills redevelopment opportunities and jobs for middle -aged people.

"If we see they have the enthusiasm and commitment to do well, we will arrange retraining and help them to switch careers to a field with ample potential."

Peter Yin, regional vice-president for Fedex South Pacific, is also expecting a good year and further recruitment.

He cited the "phenomenal growth" of the Pearl River Delta as a key reason for adding three flights to Seoul in October and for opening an eighth Hong Kong operating station.

"We are expanding in order to carry the volume," he said. "It is the trend, even smaller manufacturers now realise that logistics is one of the key tools for achieving competitiveness and in making the supply chain cycle more efficient."
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Old February 17th, 2005, 03:37 PM   #113
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Reduced charges lift HK port business
Russell Barling
17 February 2005
South China Morning Post

A full month of build-up to the Lunar New Year helped Hong Kong's main terminal operators get off to a strong start this year as reduced handling charges continued to attract more of South China's relay cargo to their docks.

The total South China deep-sea cargo market expanded a comparative 26 per cent last month to 2.3 million teu (20-ft equivalent units), with operators in Kwai Chung handling just over half of the volume, or 1.17 million teu - 16.7 per cent more than last year.

"The timing of Chinese New Year this year gave us more time to move cargo," said Sunny Ho Lap-kee, executive director of the Hong Kong Shippers Council. "The rush was pretty much across the board. There was also a 20 per cent growth in airfreight."

Hong Kong port overall saw its volume reach 1.85 million teu, up 7.8 per cent year on year. However, January's growth was inflated by last year's low base comparison when business at the main terminals shrank in the first quarter.

"The first three or four months last year were pretty slow for us so we anticipate that the port's overall growth will slow in the second quarter when we begin comparing with stronger numbers from last year," said Erik Bogh Christensen, managing director for Modern Terminals (MTL), the No2 operator.

In the second quarter of last year, operators such as MTL and Hongkong International Terminals cut container handling charges for transshipment cargo in a bid to boost lagging volumes. The move siphoned cargo away from Shenzhen ports, but intensified competition between the main terminals and mid-stream community.

Cargo handled outside the main terminals last month shrank a comparative 4.7 per cent, to 687,000 teu.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #114
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Seven shipping containers stolen from Hong Kong terminal

HONG KONG, Feb 20 (AFP) - Thieves have stolen seven fully-laden shipping containers from a Hong Kong barge, police said Sunday.

The 20-foot containers were lifted off the vessel on Saturday night while it was moored in the city's terminal that handles traffic that plies China's Pearl River.

Five men boarded the barge from their own vessel and overpowered the lone man keeping watch.

The lighterman, aged 53, was tied, gagged and hidden in a cabin while the robbers unloaded the containers.

He was freed uninjured an hour later by a colleague who found him after the robbers had fled.

Police said the containers held consignments of lighting accessories. They were unable to give a full value of the contents.

Hong Kong's container port is the busiest in the world, with more than 20 million such containers moved in and out in 2003. Insurance experts say it is also a black-spot for container thefts, which are stolen for their scrap value.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 11:43 AM   #115
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Thats not easy, to steal some containers.....

Last edited by Nemo; February 22nd, 2005 at 11:54 AM.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 07:29 PM   #116
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Hong Kong register on course for tonnage target
Competition hotting up, writes Keith Wallis in Hong Kong
23 February 2005
Lloyd's List

HONG Kong’s shipping register is on course to top 30m gross tonnes this year, but still faces strong competition from regional rivals in other sectors of the maritime industry.

Marine Department officials in Hong Kong are confident that the 30m gt target will be achieved after phenomenal growth in the past 12 months on the back of capesize and panamax newbuilding deliveries.

They believe that, with more than 500 vessels due to be delivered this year, including capesize, panamax and handy bulkers plus very large crude carriers (VLCC) and aframax tankers, a sizeable number will fly the Hong Kong flag.

The register, with 1,027 vessels totalling 26.26m gt, has added 3m gross tonnes within the last 12 months alone. This was despite the loss of ships from the Hong Kong register following their sale to new owners.

But even as Hong Kong celebrated its buoyant shipping register, a senior Chinese shipping executive warned that Hong Kong could lose its position as an international shipping centre to rival cities unless it tackles four serious issues.

Liu Guoyuan, president of Cosco (Hong Kong), an offshoot of China’s largest shipping company, China Ocean Shipping (Group), said: “The lead that Hong Kong enjoys over its competitors is becoming narrower.”

Hong Kong is facing challenges and these need to be addressed, he added.

Outlining the issues, Mr Liu said: “There is a serious shortage of qualified professionals in the logistics and shipping industries. Both the cost of land and operating expenses are high in Hong Kong.

“Shipping, logistics, ports and other relevant industries have yet to form an integrated operational system that is interactive and mutually supportive to the benefit of all.”

Finally he believed there should be more effective co-ordinated guidance from different government departments.

Mr Liu, speaking at a joint lunch hosted by the Hong Kong Shipowners Association and Marine Department yesterday, said there was a “chronic” shortage of qualified professionals in shipping and logistics.

In the short term this was being dealt with by recruiting staff from outside Hong Kong. But in the longer term, local youngsters needed to be encouraged to join the industry. Mr Liu believed the cost issue could be solved with a further simplification in shipping registration and customs formalities, while improving efficiency and co-operation in government.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #117
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HK raids not the last for ambitious operators
Dubai Ports has until April 4 to match PSA offer
25 February 2005
South China Morning Post

Dubai Ports International (DPI) has until April 4 to match PSA International's offer for some of NWS Holdings' Hong Kong port assets. Expect it to exercise that right.

At stake is a controlling interest in Asia Container Terminals (ACT), the company that owns and operates the two idle yet world-class berths known as CT8 West.

It is hard to imagine that DPI will pay US$1.14 billion in cash before tax and liabilities for the global port assets of CSX Corp without getting control of the portfolio's most prized asset.

Matching the offer will stop Singapore's state-owned PSA Corp from buying control of ACT. But DPI cannot stop the PSA from becoming a minority shareholder, despite what has been reported elsewhere.

Nor does DPI have the right - legal, pre-emptive or otherwise - to block PSA from buying a 33 per cent minority stake in CT3, the other asset NWS, a New World Group company, sold last week.

According to a report in another newspaper, "the shareholding agreement for CT3 forbids any shareholder from selling its stake to another port operator".

If true, that would unquestionably give DPI the leverage to block the PSA acquisition.

However, senior executives at both NWS and the PSA say no such clause exists. If it did, the Middle East's biggest port operator, DPI, would never have been able to buy its part of the asset from CSX in the first place.

The fact is, DPI does have the right to match PSA's offer for the stake in ACT that NWS directly holds. That amounts to 31.4 percentage points of the effective 54 per cent in ACT that NWS holds.

DPI does not have the right to match the offer PSA made for the stake in ACT that NWS indirectly holds through its partnership in CT3, or the former CSX World Terminals (Hong Kong).

Assuming PSA's $1.9 billion offer for the effective 54 per cent stake, DPI would have to stump up $1.1 billion to exercise that pre-emptive right and retain control of ACT.

But any way you slice it, by April, PSA will own an effective 22.6 per cent of ACT and 33 per cent of CT3, according to the people who are writing the cheques.

The acquisition trail is unlikely to end there for either company, however.

PSA, which has one eye on resurrecting the potential US$3 billion listing it shelved several years ago, is working on more acquisitions in China to match the minority share in a Tianjin project it agreed to take in December last year and its stakes in Dalian and Guangzhou terminals.

Expansion, while also likely to enhance the value of PSA's initial public offering, is vital to its global ambitions.

DPI's parent, the Dubai Ports Authority, was virtually debtless before signing on for a US$1.45 billion loan to fund the CSX acquisition.

The purchase will make it the world's sixth-biggest operator by available capacity once all the projects it has acquired are up and running. But, like PSA, it still has a long way to go if it wants to compete on an equal footing with industry leader Hutchison Port Holdings.

So do not be surprised if you see either state-owned operator make another CSX-sized purchase this year. Both are bent on expansion and well capitalised.

In Hong Kong, however, they will be partners on Kwai Chung's busy waterfront. Business, like politics, makes for strange bedfellows.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 05:48 PM   #118
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South China Morning Post
March 1, 2005
PSA clears last hurdle to secure HK berths
Russell Barling

PSA International of Singapore yesterday secured a place on Hong Kong's busy waterfront after the last shareholder in Asia Container Terminals (ACT) declined to exercise a right to match part of PSA's $ 3 billion offer to NWS Holdings.

Dubai Ports International (DPI), the global investment arm of the state-owned Dubai Ports Authority, chose not to pre-empt PSA's bid by last night's deadline, effectively clearing the Singapore firm's stake in three berths at Kwai Chung.

"We are optimistic of the long-term future of Hong Kong port and confident that we are able to add value to the port scene," PSA International chief executive Eddie Teh said.

"We look forward to working closely with our partners and the authorities to provide shipping line customers with high productivity and service levels."

DPI had the right to match the PSA's offer for the 31.4 per cent in ACT held directly by NWS, a stake valued at a little more than $ 1.1 billion.

The final payment for that part of the PSA's overall $ 3 billion offer remained outstanding last night, according to NWS.

"The transaction will continue with PSA International because the other party did not exercise its pre-emptive right," said NWS spokesman Kwan Chuk-fai.

Mr Kwan said he expected the full deal - which will give the PSA an effective 54 per cent of the two-berth ACT and 33.3 per cent in the firm which owns Container Terminal 3 - to be completed by the first week of next month.

However, as 22.6 percentage points of PSA's new stake in ACT would be indirectly held, DPI would remain in control of the company with 68.6 per cent of the voting rights, DPI said last night.

The deal brings to an end the flurry of bids and counter bids for Hong Kong port assets that began with the sale of CSX Corp's global port assets last year.
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 05:43 PM   #119
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March 1, 2005
Government Press Release
No decision on container terminal 10 location

No decision has been made on the location of the proposed Container Terminal 10, the Economic Development & Labour Bureau says.

In response to media enquiries, the bureau said the Study on Hong Kong Port Master Plan 2020 identified northwest Lantau and southwest Tsing Yi as possible locations for the proposed terminal.

As recommended, an ecology study will be conducted on the northwest Lantau site to further assess its environmental suitability for constructing the terminal, the bureau said.

The bureau will also update the port cargo forecast to work out the optimal timing for the construction and will review the port expansion options when more data is available.

Environmental impact assessment to be completed

The Government will have to further evaluate the relative merits and suitability of the northwest Lantau and southwest Tsing Yi sites pending the investigations, the bureau said.

When a decision is made on the preferred site, a detailed environmental impact assessment and feasibility study will have to be conducted to fulfill planning requirements.

The bureau has no more than a concept plan for the proposed site at northwest Lantau. A detailed plan has yet to be drawn. When the preferred site is decided, the public will be fully consulted on the proposed plan.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 01:32 AM   #120
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Ocean-vessel trade key component of RTT profitability
As much as 50 per cent of revenue rides on Monday's outcome of legal battle
Russell Barling
4 March 2005
South China Morning Post

The $6.5 billion River Trade Terminal (RTT) could turn its first profit within three years if operating costs are cut and it is allowed to continue to serve vessels that deliver goods from south China's prolific factories to Asian markets, according to its top executive.

The company on Monday will reach the final leg of its two-year legal battle with the government over its right to serve ocean-going vessels, a valuable and growing source of revenue for the firm.

Its new general manager, Paul Wong Hok-leung, yesterday said that win or lose, the RTT's business model would change to be more in line with the low-margin business it is in and the low overheads of its rivals.

"One of my key goals is a substantial re-engineering, in simple terms substantial cost reduction," Mr Wong said. "But there's no doubt having the right to handle vessels from the intra-Asia trades would help me build a hub quicker, and turn around the company."

The government insists the provisions of the RTT's nine-year-old land grant restrict it to handling cargo shipped to and from the Pearl River Delta. It moved about 2.6 million boxes of cargo across its 49 berths last year, 900,000 of which were from the type of ocean-going vessels the government says is in contravention of the RTT lease.

As its tariffs for handling intra-Asia cargo are on average double those for the river trade, as much as 50 per cent of RTT's annual revenue may rest on the two-day trial at the Court of Final Appeal.

"On Monday, if the court says I cannot [handle intra-Asia vessels], I will stick to my job, positive that we can still operate on a break-even basis," Mr Wong said. "If I am allowed to do a small volume [of intra-Asia trade] - one million teu [20-ft equivalent boxes] - within 30 months, the RTT will turn a profit."

Mr Wong declined to reveal how much money the RTT lost last year, saying it was "more than many, many millions". Shareholder provisions in 2002 and 2003 annual reports indicate the company lost at least $450 million in those years.

Part of the problem, he said, was the fragmented nature of the river trade business made it difficult to market the RTT, which he said was the best facility of its kind in Asia.

"Because of the dispute, the RTT's marketing efforts have been undermined," he said. "The quickest way to turn the RTT into a hub for river trade is to target the intra-Asia vessels plying it.

"If I can market from that angle, it would be a far more effective way to create a hub [for the river trade]. It is the right way."

While the RTT has increased the amount of cargo it handles every year since its 1998 launch, it has largely failed to live up to its original billing when it was awarded to a RTT consortium which included Hutchison, Sun Hung Kai, Jardine Matheson, Cosco Pacific and the Bank of China (International).

Tired of the endless cash calls, Cosco and the BOC sold their 10 per cent stakes in the past two years.

Many industry watchers are beginning to see the RTT as a lost opportunity for Hong Kong, with ports across the border increasingly turning their attention to the promising river trade. The 10 billion yuan new international port at Nansha is one of several south China facilities looking to the river for additional revenue.

"Hong Kong is at the southern tip of the Pearl River Delta, Nansha is almost the geographical centre," Mr Wong said. "If the RTT does not attract the critical mass it needs to become a river trade hub in three years, we are in serious trouble."
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