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Old July 22nd, 2005, 03:22 AM   #61
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China softens grip on single-hull ban
22 July 2005
Tradewinds

China is allowing ports to grant entry to single hulls on a case-by-case basis.

Tanker charterers are finding a way around a Chinese ban on the use of old single-hull tankers carrying heavy fuel oil into its ports.

There are indications that Chinese authorities are relaxing the rules that bar single hulls of more than 20 years of age from entering mainland ports after 5 April.

The Chinese communications ministry raised the ire of oil traders who saw the age restriction as placing them at a disadvantage. The Chinese ban is more restrictive than the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)'s regulations, which bar single-hull tankers older than 25 years.

An industry source says the government, having publicised the ban, did not want to be seen as bowing to public pressure.

However, it is making a concession by giving port authorities around the country the discretion to approve the entry of single hulls on a case-by-case basis.

A Shanghai-based tanker broker said: "As a result, traders fix ships on a 'subjects' basis.''

He says charterers who fix single-hull tankers of between 20 and 25 years of age should transmit the ships details to the authorities overseeing the port they plan to enter.

"The port authorities usually give their endorsement within 24 hours. Once the green light is received, the charterer confirms the vessel,'' he said.

It is understood that approval is being granted in almost all cases.

In one rare instance, a Liberian-registered, 64,000-dwt single-hull tanker (built 1983) was denied entry to Rizhao Port in the eastern province of Shandong last month. The vessel was carrying around 36,000 tonnes of heavy fuel.

The Shanghai-based broker says charterers have also learned that some ports are more accommodating than others. Approval seems to be granted more quickly in smaller ports, such as Zhuhai, that are hungrier for business, than in busier ports, like Huangpu or Shanghai.

The tanker broker says oil majors are unaffected by the ban because they stay away from old tonnage.

However, small oil traders are willing to take the risk of employing such tankers because of the significantly lower costs.

He said: "A trader can save around $100,000 per voyage. It costs around $400,000 to charter a panamax that is more than 20 years old from Russia to China, compared to $480,000 to $500,000 for a newer ship.''
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Old August 8th, 2005, 11:55 PM   #62
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Mainland shipping giants in US$350m debt deals
Tim LeeMaster, Hong Kong Standard
August 9, 2005

Two of the mainland's largest shipping companies, China Shipping Container Lines (Asia) and China Ocean Shipping, are seeking just over US$350 million (HK$2.73 billion) in debt financing, according to bankers familiar with the situations.

China Shipping Container Lines (Asia) has arranged to borrow US$100 million to buy new containers, said a banker. The firm is a unit of Hong Kong-listed China Shipping Container Lines, controlled by China Shipping Group.

The loan, financed by Germany's Commerz (East Asia), ING Bank and Bank of China (Hong Kong), will consist of a 5½-year, US$20 million tranche and a 4½-year, US$80 million tranche, which will be sold down to a syndicate of banks by the end of the month.

Banks providing US$12 million will earn a fee of 60 basis points while those contributing US$8 million will earn five basis points less.

ING, the bank with the original mandate, will solely fund the US$20 million tranche.

The shipping firm will pay an interest margin of 40 basis points over the London interbank offered rate. The three-month Libor, an average of rates set daily by banks and used as a borrowing benchmark, was quoted at 3.76 percent Monday.

China Shipping Group is the world's 10th largest container liner and second largest ship owner in the mainland behind China Ocean.

China Ocean, more commonly known as COSCO Group, operates 115 ships that can handle a total of 275,500 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), the standard instrument of the shipping industry.

China Shipping can carry 254,000 TEUs on its 105 vessels.

Mainland shippers are expanding fleet sizes, and snapping up more of the twenty and forty-foot containers they carry, as China's exports continue to rise on the back of strong economic growth.

COSCO Group plans to sell two billion yuan (HK$1.91 billion) in bonds with a maturity of 10 and 20 years in the domestic market.

The shorter-dated paper will carry an annual coupon of 4.95 percent while the 20-year debt will pay investors a higher 5.3 percent, said a banker familiar with the situation.

The bonds are likely to be popular with China's insurers, who suffer from a dearth of long-term investment products and are hard pressed to match their long-term liabilities with similar kinds of assets.

Long-term bonds are a scarce commodity in the mainland since many investors are skeptical of the ability of many mainland companies to service debt over that long a period.

CITIC Securities is managing the COSCO deal, which could come to market as early as next month.

Beijing has been easing approvals of corporate bond sales in an effort to open up an alternative funding channel for mainland companies as previous popular sources such as the stock market have become less attractive.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 03:58 AM   #63
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Shanghai Jan-July container traffic up 26.8 pct; Shenzhen up 22 pct - report
12 August 2005
AFX Asia

BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) - Container throughput at Shanghai port, the largest in mainland China, was up 26.8 pct from a year earlier at 10.16 mln twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first seven months, while Shenzhen port handled 8.82 mln TEUs, up 22 pct, the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po reported.

The newspaper quoted unidentified sources as saying that Shanghai port's July container throughput was 1.6 mln TEUs, up 27.9 pct year-on-year.

The report also said that container throughput at Shenzhen port in July was 1.39 mln TEUs, up 20 pct year-on-year.

Shanghai and Shenzhen are the third and the fourth busiest container ports in the world, after Singapore and Hong Kong.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 10:30 PM   #64
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MTL seeks $5b loan for expansion
Tim LeeMaster and Wong Ka-chun, Hong Kong Standard
August 19, 2005

Modern Terminals (MTL), the port operator majority-owned by Wharf, is seeking a HK$5 billion loan to fund expansion in Shenzhen and refinance existing debt, bankers familiar with the situation said.

The five-year loan will likely be priced between five and 10 basis points below a HK$2.6 billion loan led by HSBC and joined by eight other banks that was arranged in 2002, the bankers said. The original banks and a number of other banks are expected to fund the new deal, which the company plans to close within the next month.

Three years ago, Modern Terminals enlisted HSBC, Banc of America Securities, Bank of China, Hang Seng Bank, Mizuho Financial Group, Salomon Smith Barney, Standard Chartered and UFJ Bank in a two-part floating-rate loan.

The five-year loan consisted of a HK$1.3 billion revolving loan and term loan of equal size. The loan was finalized as a club deal, in which each bank takes an equal stake, and pricing details were not publicly disclosed, according to Dealogic. Bankers described pricing on the original loan as "already tight."

Earlier this month, MTL signed a joint-venture agreement with the Shenzhen government to develop five container vessel berths at Dachan Bay. MTL will own 65 percent of the venture called Shenzhen Dachan Bay Container Terminals, with the rest held by the municipal government-owned Shenzhen Dachan Bay Port Investment and Development. The total combined investment in the project is seven billion yuan (HK$6.71 billion).

At the time of the announcement, Wharf's chief manager Frankie Yick said the venture would be financed from internal resources and bank loans.

Construction is slated to be finished on the five berths, the first of five phases that will house a total of 24 berths, at the end of 2008. The first phase will be able to handle 2.5 million 20-foot containers. Dachan Bay, the second-largest port in Shenzhen, is part of the larger Yantian project controlled by Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa.

Farther north, MTL is bidding to win the right to build berths in Shanghai's Yangshan port along with partner China Shipping Terminal Development, a unit of the mainland's second-largest shipping company.

Hong Kong port operators such as MTL and its top competitors Hutchison Whampoa, Hong Kong International Terminals and Singapore's PSA are eager to expand onto the mainland to capture some of China's booming external trade. Mainland exports rose 32.7 percent in the first half on growing foreign demand for cheap products made in China while imports increased 14 percent.

Wharf's stake in MTL is set to rise to 67.94 percent as Swire Pacific said earlier this month that it plans to sell its 17.62 percent stake to both Wharf and China Mechants.

China Merchants will now own 27.1 percent of MTL while the privately-held Jebsen Securities will own the remainder.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 05:14 AM   #65
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Container shipper net up 40pc on higher rates
Alman Loong, Hong Kong Standard
August 23, 2005

China Shipping Container Lines posted first-half profit of 2.1 billion yuan (HK$2.01 billion), up 40 percent from 1.5 billion yuan a year earlier, helped by increased freight rates and capacity expansion.

Shanghai-based CSCL, the world's 10th-largest container shipper by operating capacity, said turnover rose to 13.5 billion yuan from 9.8 billion yuan.

No interim dividend was declared.

According to Credit Suisse First Boston, CSCL carried 30 percent more cargo in the first six months of the year, when average freight rates rose by 4 to 5 percent.

CSCL's main strength is above-industry volume growth in markets where rates have remained firm, Citigroup said in a report issued last week.

The company plans to take delivery of new vessels to increase its capacity by 37 percent to 349,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) by year-end.

Alan Lam, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities, said the container shipping business could be headed for overcapacity and higher operating costs in 2006.

CSCL this month raised fuel surcharges on US and Australian routes and announced an increase from September in surcharges on European and African routes. "Apart from fuel surcharges, there is limited room for CSCL to hedge oil prices," Lam said.

Citigroup estimated that fuel could account for 5 percent of CSCL's costs this year, versus 2 to 3 percent in 2004.

Some analysts also said that in the next two years, the company's expanded capacity growth could easily become a liability instead of an asset.

Shares of CSCL fell 2.2 percent to close at HK$3.325 Monday, before its latest results were released. The shares are down about 19 percent from their peak of HK$4.125 in April.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 06:12 AM   #66
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Sinotrans plans 500m yuan projects at secondary ports
Russell Barling
27 August 2005
South China Morning Post

Sinotrans plans to invest 500 million yuan at secondary ports in the mainland and set up support facilities for the 18 billion yuan Yangshan deepwater development as it looks to broaden its revenue base.

President Zhang Jianwei said Sinotrans was looking to invest in smaller container and multi-purpose terminals in key Yangtze and Pearl river delta commercial areas and build container yards and freight stations to support the Yangshan port project which comes on stream in November.

He said the new assets would support Sinotrans's diversified trade-transport activities in China.

The listed small-cap firm, which generates about 70 per cent of sales from freight forwarding, saw earnings rise 32.5 per cent to 498.7 million yuan as demand grew for transport services to distribute China's booming trade volumes.

"With China's reforms deepening, we are seeing much stronger competition. But we do not fear that as we are now better adjusted to the new competitive environment," said Mr Zhang. "We can continue our growth momentum. We do not see any obstacles."

Interim sales grew 33.7 per cent to 13.25 billion yuan, as the peak of the shipping cycle saw it receive a strong contribution from its marine transport unit where operating profit surged a comparative 42 per cent to 124.6 million yuan.

Mr Zhang said a core strategy was to expand revenue streams by adding services and products such as warehouse financing and rejuvenating its project logistics division to support heavy industries such as hydroelectric projects.

Sinotrans will also increase its focus on the distribution of domestic express products, a 15-billion yuan sector led by China Post.

"In the past, our focus was on international express but we will be putting renewed focus on the domestic sector," said secretary Gao Wei. He said Sinotrans had about 20 per cent of China's lucrative international express market.

While the firm's combined express business accounted for slightly more than 8 per cent of interim sales, it contributed 172 million yuan, or 23.7 per cent, to operating profit.

But competition from foreign rivals eroded operating margins 4.4 percentage points year on year to 15.9 per cent. Sinotrans's interim net margin fell to 4.9 per cent from 5.47 per cent year on year.

The board recommended a dividend of 3.8 fen per share.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 06:31 AM   #67
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COSCO jumps to world's No 2 shipping company
29 August 2005
China Daily Information Company

The China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO), with a transport capacity of over 35 million tons and more than 600 merchant ships cruising in the world, has grown into the world's second largest shipping company.

According to COSCO's vice-president Zhang Fusheng, the company registered a profit of over 12 billion yuan (US$1.48 billion) in 2004. In the first half of 2005, it gained a stunning 10.8 billion yuan (US$1.33 billion) in profit.

"We always stress honesty and mutual trust to maintain a good relationship between customers, staff and our partners," said Zhang.

COSCO's shipping lines cover more than 160 countries and regions and over 1,300 ports in the world. The company's assets total 140 billion yuan (US$17.26 billion). It has 600 branches in over 50 countries and regions in the world.

On June 30 this year, China COSCO Holdings Company Ltd was listed in Hong Kong, making it COSCO's eighth company to go public overseas. Up to now, COSCO's main businesses, shipping, logistics and shipbuilding, have entered into the capital market, accounting for 50 percent of the company's assets.

"With standardized corporate governance, COSCO's competitiveness keeps enhancing," said Zhang, who also noted that the company's shipping quantity may exceed 300 million tons this year.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #68
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China's Dalian Port Sees Sharp Fall in Auto Imports, Jan-Jul

DALIAN, Aug 30 Asia Pulse - The latest statistics released by Dalian Customs in northeast China's Liaoning Province show that Dalian Port imported 8,024 vehicles valued at US$240 million in the first seven months of this year, down 48.6 per cent and 50.2 per cent year-on-year respectively.

Customs officials analyzed that the factors causing the sharp decline in vehicle imports include a series of new policies set by the government related to the management of automobile brand marketing and the license issuance for automatic import of auto products.

Due to the influence of exchange rates, the vehicle imports from South Korea increased by 56.6 per cent, while that from Japan and Germany decreased by 41.5 per cent and 66.9 per cent respectively. Strong euro and Japanese yen has resulted in high cost for importing vehicles from Germany and Japan and also given an impetus to the import of vehicles with lower prices from South Korea.

In addition, new home-made car brands are much attractive in terms of prices in comparison with imported vehicles, scrambling the market space for imported vehicles, especially for sedans.

However, cross-country vehicles with the discharge from 2.5L to 3.0L become new favorite among imported vehicles, customs sources said.

(XIC)
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Old September 9th, 2005, 06:43 AM   #69
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Cosco Pacific's Net Profit More Than Doubles
By Jeffrey Ng
9 September 2005
Dow Jones

HONG KONG -- Cosco Pacific Ltd. said its first-half net profit more than doubled from a year earlier on strong shipping demand in China and gain from the disposal of assets.

The blue-chip port investor on Thursday said net profit for the six months ended June 30 rose to US$214.8 million from US$93.2 million, as revenue rose 9.4% to US$141.9 million.

The company said it expects new port-handling capacity to drive profit growth for the rest of the year. Cosco Pacific, a unit of newly listed China Cosco Holdings Ltd., has stakes in container leasing, container terminals, logistics and container-manufacturing businesses.

On top of its first-half dividend of 28.1 HK cents (3.6 U.S. cents), Cosco Pacific recommended a special dividend of 11.3 HK cents. The special dividends come from a gain of US$61.9 million from the sale of its 17.5% stake in Shekou Container Terminals Ltd. in March.

Excluding the gain, Cosco Pacific's profit rose 64% to US$153 million, the highest growth rate in half-year earnings since it listed in Hong Kong in 1994.

Managing Director Sun Jiakang said Cosco Pacific's container-leasing and port investments drove profit growth. "Benefiting from the growth in China's trade and the containerization trend in the transportation industry, the group achieved positive results in the container-leasing operation," Mr. Sun said.

The division's profit rose 25% to US$53.4 million, as its container capacity increased 19% to 1.03 million twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs.

"Demand for container boxes had been particularly strong in the first half as companies feared for a lack of supply amid high raw-materials prices and the government's economic cooling measures," said Kelvin Wong, deputy managing director of Cosco Pacific.

The container-terminals division's profit rose 11% to US$44 million, as it handled 18% more cargo, at 12.13 million TEUs.

"The company's container-terminal business recorded good growth boosted by the growth of China's economy," Mr. Sun said.

Cosco Pacific's bottom line was further lifted by the first contribution from its 16.2%-owned container-manufacturing firm, China International Marine Containers (Group) Co. The company acquired the CIMC stake in December last year.

The world's largest container-box maker by market capitalization contributed US$40.2 million to Cosco Pacific's profit in the first half.

For the second half, Mr. Sun said he expects the initial contributions of two port investments in the cities of Nanjing and Dalian to drive the company's growth, while a still-strong shipping market will increase demand for more port capacity.

"With the group's investment presence in many major ports in the world, the company is well-positioned to take advantage of the growth in throughput in the second half of the year," he said.

Cosco Pacific holds stakes in a number of Chinese ports in the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Rim in northern China. Outside China, it has a 49% stake in a terminal in Singapore and a 25% stake in Belgium's Antwerp port.
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Old September 10th, 2005, 08:55 AM   #70
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Chinese yards look outside industry for engineers, designers
9 September 2005
Tradewinds

China's shipbuilding boom has resulted in a shortage of experienced ship-design engineers, forcing shipyards and designers to look outside the industry for mechanical and electrical engineers.

Industry sources TradeWinds spoke with are unable to say how severe the shortage is in terms of numbers but are able to provide anecdotal examples. The tight talent market has also driven up the pay of design engineers. It is said that a ship-design engineer with around 10 years of working experience now commands a salary of CNY 15,000 ($1,850) a month, or triple the level of three years ago.

In comparison, the average Chinese engineer who has worked 10 years in the technical department of a machinery factory draws CNY 6,000 to CNY 7,000 a month, according to a Shanghai-based headhunter.

The shortage is caused by the entry of new ventures and by expansion. For instance, the Sino-Norwegian ship-design and newbuilding consultancy Barber CS Marine has increased its staff to 50 from around 20 when the joint venture was formed in June last year. The company, which specialises in tankers, chemical tankers, LPG carriers, pure car/truck carriers and small bulkers, plans to move into containerships and larger bulkers.

Another factor aggravating the manpower situation is that several experienced ship-design engineers have ventured out to set up shops for themselves. A shipbuilding source said: "Everyone wants to be his own boss and no one wants to be an employee."

Although Chinese universities are increasing their student intake, not just in maritime studies but also in other fields, the lament is that young graduates do not stay on the job long enough to develop their skills. Employees are ready to job-hop for a couple of hundred yuan more a month.

To resolve their manpower problems, companies such as Sino-Japanese shipyard Nantong Cosco Kawasaki Shipbuilding and Barber CS Marine have been casting their net further afield to recruit and retrain engineers from outside the shipping industry.

Xu Jiandong, general manager of Barber CS Marine, sees a silver lining in the labour market. He said: "People are now driven only by money. I believe, though, that more will stay longer in their jobs in the future because of the increase in the number of college graduates each year."

Overall, more than three million students graduated from Chinese universities this year, compared with 1.2 million in 2001. A third of the 3.4 million college graduates find it difficult to secure a job commensurate with their educational qualifications.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 01:33 AM   #71
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COSCO Pacific to take 14pc stake in Tianjin port
13 September 2005
Hong Kong Standard

COSCO Pacific, a Hong Kong-listed unit of the mainland's largest shipper China Ocean Shipping, plans to buy a 14 percent stake in a Tianjin port by year's end.

Four other global shipping firms, including Maersk, will also invest in Tianjin Five Continent Port, an analyst who attended a meeting with COSCO's management said.

COSCO Pacific, which in 2004 signed a deal with Tianjin Port Authority to buy a port stake, plans to buy two terminals this year, deputy managing director Wang Zhi said earlier.

The company plans to invest US$700 million (HK$5.46 billion) this year to buy terminals and container vessels to capture a share of China's booming external trade.

Its first-half net profit jumped 131 percent year-on-year to US$214.8 million. Tianjin Five Continent Port, which has two berths, opened early last year. The port handled 200,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2004 and aims to raise throughput to 600,000 TEUs this year.

It moved 306,704 TEUs in the first four months of the year.

Tianjin Port Authority has four port terminals, one of which is CSX Orient (Tianjin) Container Terminals, 18 percent owned by Hong Kong-listed NWS Holdings. That is the city's largest port, with four container berths and one coal berth in Tianjin's Xingang district. It handled about 560,000 TEUs in the first half.

"Tianjin Five Continent Port is too small and can generate only limited revenues to COSCO Pacific in 2006," DBS Vickers Securities analyst Oscar Choi said. He said China's strategy to focus on major hubs such as Shanghai, Shenzhen and Qingdao will cap development of small to medium-sized ports.

COSCO Pacific container throughput rose 17.6 percent to 14.4 million TEUs in the first seven months of 2005, driven mainly by Shenzhen's Yantian port, COSCO-HIT in Hong Kong and Qingdao's Qianwan port, a DBS Vickers report said.

The firm's growth trailed the industry average of 24.2 percent in China, but Choi said he remains positive on the company due to its expansion plans in Qingdao, Tianjin and Dalian.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 08:41 PM   #72
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Old October 1st, 2005, 04:46 AM   #73
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Old October 5th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #74
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Fee hike for Waigaoqiao likely to boost rival port
Shanghai's Waigaoqiao terminal has received Communications Ministry permission to raise its container handling fees by 10 percent from January 1, a move that should benefit its nearby competitor Yangshan Port, whose first phase is scheduled to open next year.

Alman Loong
Hong Kong Standard
Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Shanghai's Waigaoqiao terminal has received Communications Ministry permission to raise its container handling fees by 10 percent from January 1, a move that should benefit its nearby competitor Yangshan Port, whose first phase is scheduled to open next year.
Yangshan's handling fees will be 31 percent cheaper than Waigaoqiao's. The two ports are 45 kilometers apart.

At Waigaoqiao, handling fees will increase to 506 yuan (HK$485.25) from 460 yuan per TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) for loaded boxes, and to 352 yuan from 320 yuan per TEU for empty boxes. The port most recently increased its fees by 10 percent last January.

Yangshan Port plans to charge 350 yuan per TEU for loaded boxes.

The highest handling fees in the region belong to Hutchison Whampoa's Shanghai Container Terminal, which charges 550 yuan per TEU.

Yangshan Port is China's most expensive container handling facility yet. It is being built in phases at a total cost of 100 billion yuan.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 06:53 PM   #75
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China's Freight rates..

Can anyone send me a chart of China's Shipping Freight rate over the years including the year 2005? Thank a lotzz...
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Old October 22nd, 2005, 11:12 AM   #76
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Guangzhou Expected to Pass Hong Kong in Cargo Handling
18 October 2005
SinoCast China Business Daily News

GUANGZHOU, October 18, SinoCast -- The cargo handling capacity of Guangzhou City reached 215 million tons in 2004, ranking the world's seventh, only next to Hong Kong's 221 million tons.

Guangzhou Port has been the favorable port for bulk cargo in southern China for its advantageous geographic location. From January to September of the year, cargos handled through Guangzhou Port reached over 170 million tons, an increase of 12.3% (or 16.8 million tons) compared with the same period of last year.

And the containers handled through the port reached 3.25 million TEUs, a year-on-year increase of 40.7%.

The throughput in Guangzhou Port is forecasted to surpass Hong Kong this year and rank the sixth place.

In addition, Guangzhou Port loaded 1.12 million tons of crude oil in the first nine months, and refined oils of 10 million tons, which is slightly lower than the same period of last year.
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Old October 24th, 2005, 04:43 AM   #77
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Competition takes toll on Shanghai Port
Charlotte So
22 October 2005
South China Morning Post

Shanghai Port Container reported disappointing third-quarter results yesterday in a sign that competition between mainland port operators was getting tougher.

"There's a tightness in the supply of port handling capacity in China and competition among the operators will get a lot more severe from now on," said a European securities firm analyst.

Shipping lines such as AP Moeller-Maersk and P&O Nedlloyd have been investing heavily in mainland ports, making it more difficult for operators outside the main lines to grow their business.

The pressure on the ports would be even greater without the backing of the major shipping lines, analysts said.

Shanghai Port Container's net income in the quarter rose 2 per cent year on year to 329 million yuan - a major decline from the 20 per cent growth for the same period a year ago.

The company said profits were cut by a massive rise in the cost of finance which increased 135.4 per cent to 77 million yuan.

Sales increased 14 per cent to 11.6 billion yuan.

Over the nine months, profit rose 9 per cent to 966.9 million yuan on sales that jumped 13 per cent to 3.36 billion yuan.

Shanghai handled 14.6 million teu (20-foot equivalent unit) containers last year and aims to surpass Hong Kong and Singapore as the world's biggest container handler by 2020.

Shanghai Port Container is one of the major revenue engines of China Merchants Group which holds the unit indirectly through Shanghai International Port (Group).

Shanghai International Port has asked shipping lines to route their European services through Yangshan port by December.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 06:04 AM   #78
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Profit blow hits China oil carrier
Carol Chan
26 October 2005
Hong Kong Standard

Shares of China Shipping Development, the mainland's largest carrier of crude oil, fell after third-quarter profit came in less than expected on lower freight rates and higher bunker costs.

Net profit rose 18 percent to 548.6 million yuan (HK$526 million) for the three months ended September from 465.9 million yuan a year earlier, based on Chinese accounting standards.

The shares, which have declined 18 percent this year, fell 2.6 percent to HK$5.65 Tuesday.

International freight rates for bulk and oil hit a more than two-year low in August before recovering as carriers introduced more vessels to take advantage of burgeoning demand, fueled by China's surging economy.

China Shipping said third-quarter turnover jumped 27 percent to 2.07 billion yuan, from 1.63 billion yuan a year earlier.

The Hong Kong- and Shanghai- listed firm, which owns 77 tankers and 89 bulk ships, transports oil, coal and other cargo along China's eastern coast and to other countries.

Profit for the nine months ended September jumped 58 percent to 2.16 billion yuan from 1.36 billion yuan.

Turnover increased 34 percent to 6.367 billion yuan with a gross profit margin of 41.4 percent.
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Old October 27th, 2005, 04:37 PM   #79
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China Shipping suffers rating cut
27 October 2005
Lloyd's List

BROKERS offered a mixed outlook yesterday for China Shipping Development a day after the company reported a 17.8% rise in third-quarter net profit to Yuan548.63m (US$67.65m), writes Keith Wallis in Hong Kong.

DBS Vickers Securities and KGI both downgraded their ratings on the company based on its “disappointing” results. DBS changed its rating from “fully valued” to “sell” while KGI cut its rating from “neutral” to “underperform”. Meanwhile, Macquarie Securities maintained its “outperform” rating.

While China Shipping posted higher quarterly net profits year on year, the third-quarter profits were down 29.5% compared with the second quarter.

DBS said this reflected falling tanker freight rates in the last quarter. “China Shipping could not stay immune to the shipping downcycle, despite solid coastal markets in China,” said DBS.

On a more positive note, Macquarie said China Shipping’s fourth quarter earnings would improve to reflect the seasonal peak.

In a research note, Macquarie said: “We believe the market may react negatively to China Shipping’s third-quarter results. However, in our view, such weakness is a good buying opportunity for investors to take advantage of the seasonal upturn in the fourth quarter 2005.”

It predicted freight rates would rise and bunker costs would fall, thus helping China Shipping’s gross margin and drive earnings.

Merrill Lynch, though, cut China Shipping’s full-year earnings by 11% for 2005, 8% for 2006 and 6% for 2007.

“The recent weakness in the domestic steel market has also made us a little more cautious on the outlook of the domestic coastal shipping market,” Merrill Lynch said.

Analysts’ negative sentiment was reflected in a 3.54% fall to HK$5.45 (¢70) in China Shipping’s share price yesterday. Macquarie, however, is maintaining its target price of HK$8.90.
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Old October 28th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #80
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Cosco confident five-year fleet expansion plan will pay off
28 October 2005
Lloyd's List

CHINA Ocean Shipping Group is embarking on a major expansion of its container, dry and wet bulk fleets as it seeks to build capacity in the face of mixed market conditions.

The firm won approval earlier this month from the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s highest decision-making body, to issue Yuan2bn ($246.6m) worth of bonds to finance the acquisition of 10 ships over the next five years.

The cash, comprising Yuan1bn worth of 10-year bonds and Yuan1bn worth of 20-year bonds, will help pay for six oil tankers and four bulk carriers.

Proceeds from the bond issue are expected to help finance two 76,000 dwt panamax bulkers ordered at about $35m each by Cosco Qingdao from Jiangnan shipyard in May. The vessels are due delivery in November 2007.

Cosco Qingdao is one of five bulker companies controlled by Beijing-headquartered Cosco that together operate more than 200 ships with a total carrying capacity of 12m dwt.

Dalian Ocean Shipping, Cosco’s tanker division, has five very large crude carriers on order at yards in China and Japan and is thought to be eyeing orders for around 10 ships. This follows China’s pledge that 50% of oil imports should be handled by Chinese vessels, up from the current 10%.

Dalian Ocean Shipping currently operates about 20 tankers, totalling around 2m dwt, including three VLCCs.

China Cosco Holdings, the holding company for Cosco Container Lines, is dipping into the $1.2bn proceeds of its Hong Kong share listing in June with a plan to expand its box fleet.

The firm has placed an order worth about $520m with Nantong Cosco KHI Ship Engineering for four 10,000 teu containerships for delivery from October 2008 onwards. The deal follows an order placed by Cosco with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries at the beginning of this year for four 10,000 teu boxships. Brokers said the firm could place further boxship orders.

At the time, Cosco chairman Captain Wei Jiafu said Cosco was the first Chinese shipowner to place orders for 10,000 teu containerships. The first 349m long vessel is due to be delivered in 2007.

The orders came as China Cosco enjoyed a bull run in the first half of this year, reflected in a 42% surge in net profit to Yuan2.77bn and a 22% rise in liftings to 2.16m teu.

But volatile freights rates in both the bulk and container trades will place a strain on future earnings.

China Cosco already warned in its listing prospectus of a 0.28% fall in net profit next year. But analysts have suggested tougher times ahead for the liner sector as capacity growth accelerated and demand growth slowed. One analyst tells Lloyd’s List that he “would be very surprised if they could avoid the industry trends”.

This is a far cry from Capt Wei’s upbeat forecast at the time of the listing when he said: “We believe that from now until 2009, we will see a golden growth period that will reflect on the shipping cycle as well. With regard to some people predicting profit to drop next year, I can tell you if I forecast that it will decrease next year I would not go for an IPO this year.”

Capt Wei’s comments, though, landed him in hot water with commentators and his fellow directors who were forced to reaffirm their forecast of a decline in profit next year.

With spot bulker charter rates averaging about $21,500 a day in October after falling to $9,500-$10,000 a day in August and charterers having little appetite for two- or three-year time charters, bulker earnings also look set to be hit.
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