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Old June 7th, 2005, 04:44 PM   #41
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Shanghai Begins Work On "World's Largest Shipyard"
6 June 2005

SHANGHAI (AP)--Construction has begun on what China says will eventually be the world's biggest shipyard, part of the country's plan for taking a dominant role in the industry.

China's biggest shipbuilding company, China State Shipbuilding Corp., began building the eight-kilometer-long facility late last week on an island in the Yangtze river, north of Shanghai, state media reported.

The US$3.6 billion shipyard is meant to quadruple Shanghai's current shipbuilding capacity to 12 million deadweight tons by 2015.

China, the world's third-largest shipbuilder, has been eager to cash in on a global boom in shipping resulting largely from its own surging exports and demand for raw materials.

China now holds about 10% of the world shipbuilding market. South Korea and Japan combined now make three-quarters of the world's ships.

The 130-year-old Jiangnan Shipyard, which once operated along the Huangpu River in the center of Shanghai, will move to the new facility once it is built.

Shanghai handles almost half of China's shipbuilding orders, with an annual capacity of more than 3 million tons, accounting for 4.6% of the world total.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 03:46 AM   #42
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Koreans keep flocking to China for hull work
10 June 2005
Tradewinds

China is continuing to attract Korean shipbuilding companies wanting to establish hull-building facilities in the country.

An STX Shipbuilding official says the company will invest $100m in the province of Shandong to construct a hull-block factory. Construction of the factory is likely to take place from the middle of next year and production of the blocks may start three months later.

STX did not say how big the site would be but some reports put it at 1.6 million to two million square metres.

"Our initial production for the blocks is about 30,000 tonnes per year. Thereafter, the volume will increase but we have not worked out how much that will be," said the STX official.

Besides STX, Korea's third major shipbuilder, Samsung Heavy Industries, is also planning to build a block factory in Shandong.

Samsung was the first Korean shipbuilding company to turn to China for hull blocks. It built its first block-fabrication factory in Ningbo six years ago but the manufacturing plant is no longer able to meet Samsung's demand.

It is not known how much Samsung is pumping into Shandong but the site will be capable of producing 200,000 tonnes of blocks annually.

STX says China's cheaper labour costs and lower land prices are the main attractions.

"In Korea, we are facing a shortage of land and land prices here are a lot higher than in China," said the STX official.

The company calculates that even with the transportation costs of close to $70,000 per load for the blocks to be moved from Shandong to Chinhae, it is still cheaper to have them manufactured there.

"However, we are not able to have all the blocks manufactured in China because some shipowners prefer to have them made in Korea," said the STX official.

Some industry players say the Koreans are likely to turn these block-fabrication factories into shipbuilding yards in the future. The STX official agrees with the speculation and says the company would like to repair or build ships there but Chinese policy is a complicating the issue.

"As a block-fabrication factory, we can own 100% stake in the company. But if it becomes a shiprepair or shipbuilding yard, we will need a Chinese partner and he may hold more than 50% of the stake," said the STX official.

Last month, Daewoo Shipbuilding was reported to be investing $100m on a hull-block factory in Yantai, Shandong province, as well.

The yard could start the production of blocks in 2007, with a target of 50,000 tonnes per year, to increase to 300,000 tonnes by 2016.

Daewoo's move into China was spurred by the decision of two Korean major suppliers of blocks, DongYang and SungDong Heavy Industries, to switch over to the newbuilding business.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 10:03 PM   #43
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COSCO Plans 25% Div Payout Of Distributable Pft Post-IPO
13 June 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--China COSCO Holdings Ltd., China's largest shipping firm, plans to pay at least 25% of its annual profits as dividends to shareholders after its listing, according to a draft listing prospectus seen by Dow Jones Newswires.

The roadshow for China COSCO's initial public offering got underway Monday, ahead of a listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange tentatively scheduled on June 30. Some 90% of COSCO's shares have been earmarked for institutional investors.

COSCO expects net profit in 2005 of at least CNY4.15 billion, down from CNY4.16 billion in 2004.

The prospectus was prepared by sponsors HSBC and UBS. JPMorgan is a joint bookrunner of the deal.

The prospectus identifies several possible risks to COSCO's business outlook, including cyclical factors that could slow demand for container shipping, which in turn would depress freight rates.

The sponsors noted COSCO has a high level of debt that could adversely affect its liquidity and profitability.

COSCO's debt at end-2004 totaled CNY17.85 billion, which represents a gearing ratio of 40%.

Furthermore, a revaluation of the Chinese currency, the yuan, may "materially and adversely affect...(COSCO's) operations and financial results." As the yuan is COSCO's reporting unit, and it conducts significant business in other currencies, a fluctuation in the exchange rate may negatively affect the value of the company's assets and earnings, said the prospectus.

Proceeds from the IPO are mainly planned for fleet expansion and the repayment of loans.

The company, a unit of China's largest shipping firm China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., set an indicative price range of HK$4.25 to HK$5.75 a share for its listing.

Three strategic investors are subscribing to about US$400 million worth of COSCO's IPO: Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (0013.HK), owned by tycoon Li Ka-shing, will buy US$150 million worth of shares; Lee Shau-kee, the chairman of Henderson Land Development Co. (0012.HK), will subscribe to US$100 million; and the rest will be bought by Singapore's state-owned investment arm, Temasek Holdings Ltd.

COSCO Holdings' businesses include container shipping, container terminal, container leasing and freight forwarding services.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #44
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At the peak of the business cycle, the only way is down
15 June 2005
South China Morning Post

Few industries are as cyclical as the container shipping sector, and China Cosco is coming to market at the very top of its business cycle.

That will not unduly trouble the management of China's largest shipping company. According to bankers close to the deal, the institutional tranche of Cosco's initial public offering was fully covered by the end of business on Monday, the first day of the roadshow.

By the time Cosco's executives have swung through Singapore, London and New York, the $9.5 billion to $12.9 billion deal should be comfortably oversubscribed.

Cosco's lead managers, HSBC, JP Morgan and UBS, are pitching the company as a direct play on China's growth as a trading economy. With businesses from container manufacturing, to terminals to freight-forwarding, Cosco offers services along the whole freight chain, which bankers contend places the company head and shoulders above pure shippers such as CSCL or OOIL.

To bolster investor confidence, Cosco has enlisted the usual parade of big-name corporate investors, and to sweeten the deal further, it has promised to pay out as much as 35 per cent of this year's earnings in dividends. According to projections by HSBC, that will mean a windfall of at least $624 million for investors in the first year.

Nevertheless, Cosco is carrying some uncomfortable risks. Although the syndicate banks are stressing the breadth of the company's businesses, Cosco still made 79 per cent of its net profit last year from plain old container shipping. For the past couple of years, this has been a great business to be in as soaring demand after China's 2001 accession to the World Trade Organisation sent freight rates skyward, more than doubling Cosco's earnings last year.

Owners have rushed to order more ships, and today half as many container ships are being built as are already at sea. For the biggest vessels, which can carry 4,000 or more 20-foot containers, the ratio is even higher, at 78 per cent. Next year, global container shipping capacity will grow by more than 14 per cent, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants.

The worry is that much of this new capacity will be launched just as trade growth begins to soften. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's widely-followed composite leading indicators fell for the fourth consecutive month in April to enter negative territory, pointing to a slowdown in economic activity ahead.

Drewry forecasts that demand growth for container shipping will slow to 8 per cent next year, from 12 per cent this year and 13 per cent in 2004. Shipbrokers in Hong Kong say freight rates are already beginning to slide, and even Cosco's investment bankers admit that the company's margins are going to be squeezed.

Excess capacity and slackening demand are not the only concerns. Like most shipping companies, Cosco is highly leveraged and vulnerable to rising interest rates. With its dependence on demand for Chinese exports, yuan-denominated costs and foreign currency revenues, Cosco's earnings are also more exposed than those of most companies to any appreciation of the Chinese currency.

The company's position in the market still makes it an attractive long-term investment, but Cosco is a company at the peak of its business cycle. Investors may well want to consider whether its stock will be an even better buy in two years.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 12:15 AM   #45
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Greater links with China

16 Jun 05

Shipping Agreement to be enhanced, allowing shipping companies in both countries to set up wholly-owned subsidiaries, with no geographical limitation

CHINA is Singapore's top investment destination, and one of its top trading partners. In 2004, Singapore's total trade with China reached $53 billion, a 44.5 per cent growth over the previous year.



In recent years, the Singapore government has been paving the way for more maritime links with China. On March 29, Singapore and China signed a protocol to enhance the existing Maritime Transport Agreement between the two countries. The protocol was signed by Singapore Minister for Transport Yeo Cheow Tong and his counterpart, Zhang Chunxian, Minister for Communications from the People's Republic of China, in Beijing.

Also known as the Shipping Agreement, the Maritime Transport Agreement between Singapore and China was first signed in 1989 to provide the shipping lines of both countries access to each other's ports, and to accord Most Favoured Nation status to each other's vessels.

The recent protocol signed will allow Chinese and Singapore shipping companies to establish wholly-owned subsidiaries in Singapore and China respectively, without any geographical limitation.

It will also facilitate their engagement in shipping-related activities, such as ship agency services for the vessels they operate and to sign services contracts with their customers.

For SS Teo, managing director of Pacific International Lines (PIL) and head of Singamas, the container manufacturer, his fortunes are increasingly aligned with the growth of China.

'We have been in China since 1967 when PIL was founded,' says Mr Teo. 'Starting with breakbulk, our growth out of China has been at 20 per cent over the past 20 years.'

PIL now has 10 branch offices and 16 representative offices, plus four logistics centres across the mainland. Now that PIL is well represented across China's key coastal cities, the plan is to move further inland and further west to build up a strong national network.

For the first time since 1990, PIL, which has been ordering ships in Japan, returned to a Chinese shipyard last year to order four 2,500 TEU containerships at Dalian New Shipbuilding (DNS). And, Mr Teo says, PIL is in negotiations with DNS for a fifth vessel.

The line entered the Asia-Europe trade last year with Wan Hai Lines of Taiwan, calling at Shanghai, Ningbo and Shenzhen. Furthermore, PIL started a new service from China to Australia in May 2004.

As far as Singamas, the world's second largest box manufacturer, goes, these are extraordinary boom times. The company currently operates eight plants in China.

During Chinese New Year, three plants were upgraded and the Tianjin plant is presently being relocated to a new, larger site, while a new facility is under construction in the eastern Guandong province, bringing the number of facilities up to nine by year-end.

Last year, Singamas's annual maximum capacity in China was about 620,000 TEU, this year it will hit 830,000 TEU and next year 1.2 million TEU.

'As a result of steel shortages,' comments Mr Teo, 'prices are going up, so we do not quote very far in advance and have to obtain regular quotes from the steel mills.

The cycle for a manufacturing job quotation is now very short.' Last March, a TEU cost US$1,400; it now costs US$2,300, and continues to rise.

Eddie Teh is a man on a mission. The group chief executive officer of PSA International is determined to make more inroads in China's box handling operations.

PSA China, a newly-created arm of the Singapore-based terminal operator, has set up a team to fast-track terminal acquisitions in China headed by Aaron Mak.

Together, the pair has roamed the mainland in the past year or so, concluding port deals rapidly, with many more on the negotiating table.

Most crucial of these is the much-sought-after Phase Two development of Yangshan, to the south-east of Shanghai - a facility every operator is eyeing and one that will eventually spawn 52 berths.

At the start of the year, PSA International teamed up with Orient Overseas (International) Ltd - parent of Orient Overseas Container Lines - P&O Nedlloyd and Shanghai-listed Tianjin Port Group and announced a US$200 million expansion of the north-east port, situated on Bohai Bay.

The three foreign firms will each take a 20 per cent stake in the project which will see three berths added over a 1.1km strip of quayside. Construction starts next year, following a signing ceremony in January.

CSX World Terminals were the only foreign operators in the coal city, that is two hours' drive from Beijing, but CSXWT, for which PSA mounted a strong bid, has just been bought out by Dubai Ports International.

Tianjin finds itself locked in a battle for North China hub supremacy with both Dalian to the north, where PSA invested in 1996, and Qingdao to the south.

In Dalian, in Liaoning province, PSA China took part in a major joint venture with a combined investment of 240 million renminbi (S$48.5 million) last September, with Cosco Pacific, Dalian Port Container Co and APM Terminals, for two terminals in the Phase Two development of the port.

Meanwhile, at another site where PSA has maintained a presence since 2000, construction of Berths Two and Three of the Fuzhou Jiangyin International Container Terminals started last September.

Some 840 million renminbi has been invested in the 50,000dwt, with Berth One having been completed in December 2002. Each berth has a quay length of 375 metres, a 14m draught and a navigation channel 15.5m deep with a handling capacity of 30,000 TEU on 350,000 sq m of terminal.

Most recently, and complementing its investments around China, which also include Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta, PSA International gained a foothold in Hong Kong, paying HK$3 billion (S$645 million) for a major share in container terminal 8 West.

Finally, in a hectic 12 months of activity for the Singapore firm in China, PSA Marine, the fully-owned marine services unit of PSA International made its first foray into China's towage services market through a joint venture with the Fuzhou Port Authority in 2004.

PSA Marine now provides towage services to shipping lines calling at the port of Jiangyin, which includes PSA's own Fuzhou-Jiangyin International Container Terminals.

Singapore-based oil trader Titan, owned by mainland Chinese entrepreneur Tsoi Tin Chun, is rapidly increasing its tanker fleet on the back of Chinese demand as well as building up its oil storage facilities across the mainland.

Perhaps most impressively, the group has carried out groundbreaking for a shipyard and a maritime training school in China.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:14 AM   #46
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UPDATED: 15:19, June 14, 2005
China's development fuels world's ocean shipping industry
By People's Daily Online

The international shipping giants, including The Maersk Company Ltd, Hutchison Whampoa, China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Limited and PSA Corporation Limited, expressed recently at the 24th World Ports Conference held in Shanghai that the construction of Shanghai International Shipping Center is expected to bring a change to the layout of Asian-Pacific Pacific seaways.

It is the first time that the biennial international meeting, the highest level and the largest of its kind in the world, was convened in China. China's recent impact on international shipping industry is the underlying reason.

Port expansion to shift the Asian-Pacific hub

In 2004, the throughput of Shanghai harbor reached 14.55 million TEU, ranking the third in the world. The Yangshan deep-water port, scheduled to be operational this year, will turn Shanghai into a real deep-water sea port from a river port.

Its 15-meter-deep water can hold the biggest ship in the world loaded with 8,500 containers. This means that the loading volume of this ship model will be more than doubled compared with that when anchored at the old port.

So far the top five container ports in the world are all located in the Asian-Pacific region. A port chain has thus been formed, running from Pusan and Kobe and southward Shanghai, Kaohsiung, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Singapore. Hong Kong and Singapore in the southern Asia-Pacific area are recognized as international shipping centers. But insiders forecast the establishment of the Yangshan port will make the Asian-Pacific navigation hub shift to Shanghai.

Chinese Minister of Communications Zhang Chunxian said that there were 1,430 ports and 34,000 berths in China by the end of last year, with total throughput of 4.17 billion tons, up 19 times if compared with that in 1980. The ports is one of the leaders in the world in terms of total ports' scale and handling records, with eight among the big ones in the world handling 100 million tons.

From a perspective of the national strategy, there are three port groups in China: the Pearl River Delta group in South China with Hong Kong as an international shipping center; Yangtze River Delta in East China with Shanghai as the center and the one along the Bohai Bay in the north with Dalian, Tianjin and Qingdao as the main ports.

Economic development offers valuable opportunities to ports

Zhang Chunxian forecast that China's ports are facing rare development opportunities. On one hand, China will maintain a fast economic growth in the comparatively long time to come. By 2020 China will quadruple its GDP on the basis of nearly 1trillion US dollars in 2000. On the other hand, China will continue to adhere to the reform and opening-up policy, further expand its economic links with the world and maintain stable and fast growth of trade which stands 1.15 trillion USD currently.

According to the analysis by Zhang Chunxian, with economic globalization and the readjustment of industrial structure, China will gradually become a world's manufacturing center and accelerate the diversion of heavy chemical industries and processing manufacturers towards ports and traffic trunks, bringing about the rapid development of the industries close to ports.

Foreign investors are welcome to participate in China's port construction. The Chinese government has adopted a series of policies and measures to encourage social fund and foreign capital to engage in the construction and management of port facilities,

Besides, the central and local governments have put forward preferential policies, including special funds for port construction, favorable land and taxation treatment so that port construction will be guaranteed to adapt to the development of national economy and foreign trade.

Trade growth will stimulate world ocean shipping industry to restore prosperity

In 1970s, the shipbuilding sector suffered 25-year long bubbles due to the over-supply of vessels. It was not until year 2000 that the ocean shipping business began the balanced growth cycle. Dr. Martin Stopford, director and general manager with Clarkson Research Studies under The Clarkson Company, a well-known consulting company of the world's shipping industry, believed that the first driving force for the revival is the functioning of the business cycle, and China's trade growth is the second most important momentum.

In the past two years, China has attracted the attention of the industry in the world and its oceanic trade growth accounted for more than 60 per cent of the world's total. Although still making up of 10 per cent of the world's ocean transportation imports and 5 per cent of the exports, China exerts an important impact on the industry due to its fast growth.

"The imports and exports of China's goods will continue to grow, and more than 90 per cent of them will be delivered by sea". Tu Deming, director of the China Ports and Harbors Association, told reporters that the Ministry of Commerce made a conservative estimation that the foreign trade growth will be up 15 per cent in 2005, and specialists forecast it will be up about 20 per cent. That will be good news for port business.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 05:10 AM   #47
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Denmark's AP Moeller-Maersk mulls new regional headquarters in Beijing -report
15 June 2005

BEIJING (AFX) - AP Moeller-Maersk AS, the world's largest shipping company, is planning to set up a regional headquarters in Beijing to manage its operations in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the Ta Kung Pao reported, citing a senior company official.

The Hong Kong paper cited the Danish company's executive vice president Knud Pontoppidan as saying that the company has submitted an application to establish a holding company, to China's Ministry of Commerce.

Pontoppidan told a forum in Shanghai last week that Maersk needs to integrate management of its shipping, logistics, port and rail services operations.

Company officials were not immediately available for comment.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 05:34 AM   #48
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Shipper may buy parent's bulk carriers
15 June 2005
Hong Kong Standard

China Shipping Development, the mainland's biggest shipper of oil, may buy its parent's dry bulk carriers or spin off its bulk cargo vessels for a separate listing under the group's restructuring plan, people familiar with the situation said.

Sources close to China Shipping Development said the company and its parent, China Shipping Group, are still considering the restructuring plan on their bulk cargo vessels business, and will probably come up with a decision in the next few weeks.

Under the two proposals, China Shipping Development may acquire the 72 bulk cargo vessels from its parent, which can almost double its dry bulk fleet, or spin off the bulk shipping business and group it together with its parent's bulk vessels for a separate listing, the sources said.

"One of the problems for China Shipping Development to acquire the assets from its parent is that the move will increase its financial burden, considering that its capital expenditure is already huge over the next few years," the source said.

On the other hand, spinning off the bulk shipping business can draw fresh capital from the market, but the timing for an initial public offering may not be good with falling commodities freight rates in the international market, the source added.

The Baltic Dry Index, which tracks commodity freight rates, plunged 56 percent from 6,208 on December 6 to a one-year low of 2,762 Monday.

China Shipping Development said in a stock exchange announcement on June 10 that the group is considering a restructuring which involves the company's assets. Its company secretary Yao Qiaohong could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

"We believe any asset acquisition for China Shipping Development may relate to 72 vessels currently managed by [the firm] on behalf of its sister companies," said Credit Suisse First Boston vice president Karen Chan.

China Shipping Development has a fleet of 166 vessels, including 73 bulk cargo ships, 80 oil tankers and 13 container ships. CSFB values the other 72 bulk carriers with its parent at two to three billion yuan (HK$1.88-2.82 billion) and the purchase will boost the company's profit by 30 percent. The spin-off of China Shipping Development's dry bulk business would result in three distinctive shipping plays within the group _ dry bulk carrier, crude oil tanker and ship leasing.

China Shipping Development said in March it will add six new oil tankers and six new bulk carriers, and plans to boost capital spending to 4 to 5 billion yuan this year, up from 1.8 billion yuan a year ago.
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Old June 20th, 2005, 01:47 AM   #49
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Ships from parent may steer CSD towards oil
Injection may involve 72 bulk vessels worth up to 3b yuan and a spin-off
Russell Barling
17 June 2005
South China Morning Post

China Shipping Development may receive an injection of assets from its state-owned parent company and spin off an enlarged bulk shipping firm, according to the company, confirming reports that have sent its stock value spiralling downwards this week.

The injection could involve as many 72 mostly older bulk vessels - with an estimated asset value of two billion yuan to three billion yuan - that the parent China Shipping Group mostly uses to distribute goods such as coal, steel and grain between coastal cities.

"[The group] is considering having its own restructuring which may involve the injection of certain dry bulk cargo carriers into a new company {hellip} to be separately listed," company secretary Yao Qiaohong said in statement filed with the stock exchange yesterday.

Mr Yao said nothing had been finalised and the proposal might not proceed.

The value of China Shipping shares has fallen 9.3 per cent to $5.85 since Friday, when news of the proposal emerged.

Analysts and investors this week reacted cooly to the proposal, which could see China Shipping's core revenue base switch from domestic coal distribution to a more volatile international oil sector.

"This development could totally change [China Shipping Development's] investment thesis," CLSA analyst Mike Lu said in a report on Monday. "We recommend investors stay on the sidelines until further details are given."

According to a report by Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Karen Chan, the assets are likely to be 72 bulk vessels operated by the group's unlisted subsidiaries Dalian Shipping and Guangzhou Maritime Transport.

Ms Chan estimated that the injection, provided there was no spin-off, could add 30 per cent to China Shipping's profit and sales.

Bulk shipping accounted for about 43 per cent of its earnings in the first half.

It is understood that any attempt to create the group's third listed shipping play - it also is the controlling shareholder of listed China Shipping Container Lines - would have to be approved by most of the A and H-share owners.

"I don't think the earnings dilution would be material," said an analyst at a western investment bank. "But if they spin off, the valuation dilution may be enough for shareholders to reject the proposal."

Oil shipping firms typically trade at half the earnings multiples of their bulk counterparts.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 12:49 AM   #50
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China COSCO Says Global Economy To Support Company Growth
19 June 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--China COSCO Holdings Ltd. (1919.HK) says company growth will be underpinned by strong global economic expansion in coming years.

China COSCO's Chairman Wei Jiafu said shipping demand will continue to outstrip supply in the next few years, despite a significant increase in shipping capacity.

"It's quite clear that we are experiencing an uptrend in the market," Wei said in a news conference Sunday to kick off the retail tranche of China COSCO's US$1.65 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong. "This is due to strong demand supported by global economic growth and increased containerization."

He expects the global shipping industry to continue its rapid growth until 2009 on the back of a "golden economic growth" period for the world.

Wei's comments come amid concerns among analysts that the global shipping cycle will experience a downturn in 2006 after several years of rapid expansion.

The joint bookrunners of COSCO Holdings - UBS, JP Morgan and HSBC - forecast that the company's net profit will decline by 8%-18% in 2006, due to an imbalance between supply and demand of container vessels as shipping rates fall on excess capacity while demand slows.

For this year, China COSCO is projecting a net profit of at least CNY4.15 billion, compared with CNY4.16 billion in 2004, according to its listing prospectus.

However, Wei said he doesn't agree that the shipping cycle will slow down next year. "We are quite pleased with the company's operational data in the first five months of 2005, which were better than we expected. This indicates optimism in the industry."

He expects three more increases in shipping rates this year in the months of July, September and October after a "satisfactory" rate rise in April. However, he didn't specify on the extent of those increases.

China COSCO, a unit of China's largest shipping firm China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., is selling 2.24 billion shares, or 36.5% of its enlarged share capital, at a price range of HK$4.25 to HK$5.75 each ahead of a planned listing in Hong Kong's stock exchange on June 30.

The price range values the company at a price-earnings ratio of 6.69 to 9.06 times 2005 earnings, the company said.

Some 90% of the IPO will be earmarked for institutional investors, with the rest for retail subscription.

The institutional tranche, which started June 13, has been three times covered so far, according to a banker involved with the deal. The retail offering begins Monday.

China COSCO is slated to become Hong Kong's third biggest IPO this year. The company is an integrated shipping firm that covers container shipping business, as well as container terminal and container leasing operations, with the latter held under its 52%-owned COSCO Pacific Ltd. (1199.HK).

Sun Jiakang, an executive vice president of China COSCO, said COSCO Pacific plans to raise US$300 million through syndicated loans. It will use the funds for loan repayment and investment on new container boxes.

For China COSCO, Wei said the company plans to spend CNY13.5 billion in 2005 and 2006 as capital expenditure, with CNY4.5 billion allocated for fleet expansion, CNY3 billion for port investments, and the remainder to manufacture container boxes.

The company is looking to pay at least 25% of its distributable annual profits to shareholders through dividends, though one banker said the company is targeting a 35% dividend payout this year.

UBS and HSBC are the joint global coordinators for the listing, while JP Morgan is a joint bookrunner.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 05:46 PM   #51
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China iron ore delays seen weighing on freights
By Nao Nakanishi

HONG KONG, June 17 (Reuters) - China's attempts to delay iron ore shipments are likely to weigh down dry bulk cargo freight rates for at least another month, industry sources said on Friday.

Rates have lost more than a third in about a month, and shipping company officials saw little chance of an early rebound with steel prices continuing to slide and with close to 40 million tonnes of iron ore piling up at Chinese ports.

"The freight market will stabilise around this level or go down a little bit further until end-July," said a senior official at a Chinese company that ships iron ore cargoes from Brazil and Australia to Chinese steel mills.

"Now every steel mill in China is trying to delay import cargoes. There are not enough cargoes to support this market...I think they'll delay the imports by up to two months."

The Baltic Dry Index <.BADI>, a benchmark for rates for dry cargoes such as minerals, sugar and grain, dropped to 2,586 on Thursday, down 36 percent since the current downturn began in May.

The index for large cape-size ships <.BACI>, mostly used for hauling iron ore or coal, slid to 2,783 from 5,727 in May.

One legal source specialising in commodities trade, who declined to be named, said the fall in freight rates had led to many disputes between ship owners and charterers.

"There're lots of iron ore disputes going on," said the source. "It's basically people trying to get out of the contracts because freight rates have fallen."

PRODUCTION CUTS

Shipping officials and iron ore traders said Chinese steel mills were now reducing output -- as were European rivals such as Arcelor , Corus and ThyssenKrupp , which announced cuts on Thursday.

That should lead to a slowdown in iron ore consumption despite a 34 percent year-on-year increase in iron ore imports in May, when crude steel output showed a year-on-year jump of 37.5 percent to 29.73 million tonnes.

"Some have already stopped for maintenance and repair -- even the big ones. So consumption of iron ore should come down," the shipping official said.

An iron ore trader said: "About 60-70 percent of mills with annual capacity of 300,000-500,000 tonnes have stopped production."

Another trader said new facilities were still coming on stream but that small mills could no longer cover their production costs following drops in steel prices.

Yet some officials were puzzled by the very bearish sentiment in the Chinese steel market, especially as both May fixed asset investment and industrial production showed solid year-on-year growth of 28.2 percent and 16.6 percent respectively.

"There may be an additional factor at play. Some are putting off orders intentionally to cool down the market," said another shipping official based in Tokyo.

"It might be a form of a rebellion against the mines, who have pushed through the 71.5 percent price hike," the official said, referring to price increases for term iron ore contracts early this year.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 07:43 AM   #52
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China's Tianjin Port Sees Rise in Auto Imports From S.Korea

TIANJIN, June 28 Asia Pulse - Tianjin Port imported 2,245 motor vehicles from South Korea in May this year, accounting for 52 per cent of the total auto import via the port in the month, according to statistics provided by Tianjin Municipal Entry and Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.

South Korea has for the first time exceeded Japan and Germany in terms of its auto export to China via Tianjin Port.

China's import auto market used to be dominated by Japan-made and German-made cars.

However, with influx of motor vehicles from South Korea in recent years, South Korean-made cars have become a new favorite on the Chinese market.

The municipal entry and exit inspection and quarantine bureau attributes sharp increase in auto import from South Korea mainly to two reasons:

- South Korean-made cars are of high function/price ratio.

- Prices of cars imported from South Korea have continued to slide, almost to the price level of China-made ones.

(XIC)
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Old July 5th, 2005, 01:12 AM   #53
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Norway shipping group to invest in shipbuilding in central China
4 July 2005
Xinhua's China Economic Information Service

WUHAN, July 4 (CEIS) – Skaugen Group headquartered in Oslo, Norway, has decided that it will continue to invest in shipbuilding industry in central China’s Hubei Province.

During his recent visit to Hebei Province, President Morits Skaugen Jr. of Skaugen Group said his group would launch a marine equipment industrial park in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, and set up a shipyard jointly with the Yangtze River Shipping (Group) Company.

President Skaugen said that his group would also establish an international shipping management company, a joint venture with the Yangtze River Shipping Group, to undertake the transportation and trade of LPG and chemicals.

The president noted that Wuhan is an ideal place for developing shipbuilding industry as the city boasts good shipyards, R&D institutions and strong abilities to supply auxiliary products.

He held the view that in developing shipbuilding industry, Hubei should focus on building medium-size and small vessels, including special-purpose ships, high-speed ships and ships with hi-tech contents.

Skaugen Group has been active in China since 1995. It established a joint venture, Hubei Tian En Petroleum Gas Transportation Co. Ltd, with Hebei Tian Fa Group in 1996. The company is now the largest LPG shipping enterprise along the Yangtze River.

In 1998, Skaugen Group set up the WTU-STC Training Center in cooperation of Wuhan University of Technology. So far the center has trained more than 4,000 seafarers, including some 500 now working on foreign vessels.

Skaugen Group, founded 100 years ago, is engaged in worldwide marine transportation of petrochemicals, gas, LPG and organic chemicals.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 02:30 AM   #54
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China's Dalian Port Sees Throughput Surge Over 30 PCT in H1

DALIAN, July 4 Asia Pulse - Dalian Port in Northeast China put through 60.032 million tons of cargo in January-June 2005, 14.659 million tons or 32.2 per cent more than in the same period of 2004.

The port also handled 1.223 million TEUs of containers, a year-on-year rise of 24.6 per cent.

In June alone, the ports cargo throughput totaled 10.046 million tons, up 1.479 million tons or 17.3 per cent over the same period of last year and the container throughput was 233,000 million TEUs, surging by 31.2 per cent.

The two 300,000-tonnage wharves, which were put into service last year, have become the main engines of growth in the ports operations. The 300,000-ton oil terminal received and unloaded 24 large tankers carrying 5.553 million tons of crude oil. The ore wharf unloaded 28 vessels with 3.816 million tons of ore.

Of the total net growth of 14.659 million tons in total throughput, nearly 10 million tons were attributed to the two new wharves. The ore and crude oil handling capacity all increased at least 100 per cent in the first half. The growth in the first quarter was 31 per cent, ranking first among the major ports in the country. The growth in April reached a record 59.9 per cent.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 06:28 AM   #55
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Collision causes oil spill off Dalian
5 July 2005
Lloyd's List

A LARGE clean-up operation involving at least 26 vessels is taking place off the port of Dalian in northeast China after a tanker spilt oil following a collision with a foreign-flagged containership on Saturday, writes Mike Grinter in Hong Kong.

The accident happened at 1130 hrs when the 2,500 tonne oil tanker Qian Dao You No.1 (above) and the Malaysia registered Bunga Mas were about five nautical miles from Dalian Port.

The report cites the Liaoning Maritime Salvage Association as saying that both vessels were sailing slowly at the time of the incident and no casualties were reported.

While it has been suggested that it was a “big” spill, the exact extent has not been determined due to heavy sea fog.

The Qian Dao You No.1, which is owned by Zhousan Qiandao Shipping, was carrying 3,800 tonnes of diesel fuel oil on its way to Guangzhou when it collided with Bunga Mas amid heavy fog and poor visibility on its journey to Dalian from Japan.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 03:15 PM   #56
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Xinhua Economic News Service
China’s ports handle 250 million tons of cargoes in June

BEIJING, July 13 (CEIS) – China’s major ports handled 250 million tons of cargoes in June 2005, up 16.7 percent year-on-year, according to statistics released by the water transport department under the Ministry of Communications.

In June, the ports handled 100 million tons of goods for foreign trade and 5.584 million TEUs, up 17.9 percent and 22.6 percent year- on-year respectively.

For coal transport, major port along the coast and rivers in June handled 31.69 million tons of coal, up 2.8 percent year-on-year, including 5.78 million tons for foreign trade, down 26.5 percent, and 25.91 million tons for domestic trade, up 12.9 percent.

In the first six months of this year, the ports totally handled 185.03 million tons of coal, up 11.7 percent year-on-year, including 36.62 million tons for foreign trade, down 19.8 percent, and 148.41 million tons for domestic trade, up 23.7 percent. At the end of June, coal in stored at the ports came to 16.03 million tons, 1.24 million tons more than that at the end of the previous month.

For crude oil transport, the ports across the country in June handled 10.256 million tons of imported crude oil and 1.693 million tons of offshore oil, up 5.4 percent and 20.5 percent year-on-year respectively.

In the first six months of this year, the ports totally handled 62. 599 million tons of imported crude oil and 9.834 million tons of offshore oil, up 9.6 percent and 1.2 percent year-on-year respectively.

For iron ore transport, major ports along the coast and rivers in June handled 21.29 million tons of import iron ore, up 53.1 percent year-on-year.

In the first half of the year, the ports totally handled 132.71 million tons of imported iron ore, up 30.3 percent year on year. By the end of June, iron ore stored at the ports stood at 35.10 million tons, almost the same as compared the same period of last year.

For grains transport, major ports across the country handled 2.30 million tons of imported grains, down 20.5 percent year-on-year. In the first six months of this year, the ports totally handled 11.11 million tons of import grains, down 7.1 percent.

For chemical fertilizers transport, major ports handled imported chemical fertilizers of 0.38 million tons, down 59.9 percent year-on- year. In the first half of this year, the ports totally handled 6.18 million tons of imported chemical fertilizers, down 9.7 percent.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 01:07 AM   #57
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China Port Operator Mulls IPO Next Year
Dow Jones Newswires
14 July 2005

SHANGHAI -- Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., the operator of one of the world's busiest ports, is considering an initial public offering as early as the second half of next year after recently restructuring into a shareholding company.

While the port operator's first choice is to list shares in Hong Kong, it hasn't decided on a listing destination or fund-raising goal, Wang Qingwei, general manager of the investment and development department, said in an interview. It also has yet to select an investment bank to underwrite the deal.

If SIPG begins planning its initial offering now, it could list in one year, Mr. Wang said, adding the IPO timing depends on market conditions. SIPG is the controlling shareholder of Shanghai-listed Shanghai Port Container Co., one of more than 40 companies picked by the government recently to float their large quantities of nontradable shares.

The group's overseas fund-raising plan highlights the growing prominence of China's port and shipping firms, as the traffic of goods flowing in and out of the country expands along with the booming economy. China this week reported exports jumped 33% in the first six months of 2005 from a year earlier, while imports grew 14% over the same period.

Yet investors may be cautious about buying shipping-related offerings, after shares of shipping company China Cosco Holdings Ltd. fared badly last month in their debut in Hong Kong.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 03:36 PM   #58
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China Shipping Postpones HK Spinoff
By Keri Geiger
18 July 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--China Shipping Development Co. (1138.HK) has postponed a plan to inject its dry-bulk cargo carrier operations into a new company to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, citing market conditions and mainland China regulatory requirements.

While Hong Kong and Shanghai-listed China Shipping didn't elaborate on the market conditions in a disclosure Monday, analysts said the weak state of the dry bulk - or non-containerized - market caused by a slump in prices may have prompted the move.

Michael Chan, a research analyst at BOCI Research Ltd., said a number of large China Shipping shareholders, which include fund managers holding its China-listed A shares, opposed the spin-off on concerns their holdings would be diluted.

"They had a lot of opposition from A-share fund managers who weren't receptive to the spin-off," said Chan.

China Shipping, a unit of state-owned China Shipping (Group) Co., didn't say how long the postponement would last, but said an announcement would be made at the appropriate time.

Overcapacity in the international dry bulk market has caused shipping rates - as measured by the Baltic Dry Index - to plunge 62.5% since the end of 2004.

China Shipping, however, has been less severely hit than many of its competitors, as more than 40% of its dry shipping business comes from domestic customers who lock in contract rates at the beginning of each year.

In 2004, revenue of China Shipping's dry bulk business totaled CNY2.7 billion and comprised 42% of its total revenue.

Analysts agree that market conditions weren't the only factor behind the spinoff's postponement.

"Investors were worried they would be spinning off the most profitable part of the business," said Gideon Lo, a research analyst at DBS Vickers, noting that even though the dry bulk operations aren't as big as China Shipping's oil transport business they are nevertheless a major earnings driver.

Some analysts said COSCO Holdings Ltd.'s (1919.HK) poorly received US$1.22 billion public offering in Hong Kong late last month may have also cast a shadow of the spin-off plan.

Investors were concerned that the global shipping cycle had peaked after two strong years of growth.

The postponement comes after a steady decline in China Shipping's share price after it hit a high so far this year of HK$7.75 in March. The shares closed at HK$5.55 Monday.

BOCI's Chan attributed the decline to the spinoff plan rather than deteriorating fundamentals.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 04:11 AM   #59
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MTL to develop Shenzhen terminal
Alman Loong, Hong Kong Standard
July 20, 2005

Modern Terminals (MTL), the port operator 55.3 percent-owned by Wharf (Holdings), said it has agreed to set up a venture to develop a container terminal in Shenzhen with total investment of 7 billion yuan (HK$6.58 billion).

MTL said it entered into an agreement with the Shenzhen government to form Shenzhen Dachan Bay Container Terminals to develop five berths at the first of the port's five phases. MTL expects the project to provide profits from 2009.

MTL will own 65 percent interest in the terminal, which will have a total 24 berths, while the remainder will be held by municipal government-owned Shenzhen Dachan Bay Port Investment and Development Company.

Frankie Yick, Wharf's chief manager, said MTL will finance the investment from internal resources and bank loans. He declined to reveal the total investment for the whole project.

MTL, which is based in Kwai Chung terminal, hopes to use Dachan Bay as its base in southern China and Shanghai and Suzhou as bases in the Yangtze River Delta area amid more competition from rivals like Hutchison Whampoa, China Merchants Holdings (International) and Singapore's PSA Corp.

MTL has teamed with China Shipping Terminal Development, an offshoot of China's second-largest shipping company, to bid for a project in Shanghai's Yangshan port.

"We are confident of getting the project," Yick said.

He said construction of the first phase of the Dachan Bay project is scheduled to start in the final quarter of 2007 and be completed at the end of 2008. It will have capacity to handle 2.5 million 20-foot container boxes a year.

Investment in Dachan Bay was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in March this year, a year after the Chinese government unofficially slowed port development in the Pearl River Delta to minimize competition with Hong Kong.

The moratorium delayed construction work at Dachan Bay, the third phase of Yantian project, which is controlled by Hutchison Whampoa, as well as several other ambitious projects at secondary ports.

Dachan Bay, the second-largest port in Shenzhen, will benefit from a revamped Dongguan Channel to improve traffic. Shenzhen authorities began the dredging in December.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong International Terminals, a Hutchison port unit, and MTL plan to buy Hong Kong's Container 3 from PSA Corp and Dubai Port to merge it into their respective terminals, Hong Kong Economic Times said. Total investment will involve HK$2-3 billion, it said.

Hutchison and MTL spokesmen declined to comment on the Economic Times report.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 04:37 PM   #60
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China State Shipbuilding 1H Tonnage Up 61% On Yr - Xinhua
20 July 2005

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China State Shipbuilding Corp. built 2.87 million metric tons of new ships in the first half of 2005, an increase of 61% from the year-earlier period, the official state media reported Wednesday.

Nearly 80% of the total tonnage was for export, the official Xinhua News Agency reported China State Shipbuilding General Manager Chen Xiaojin as saying.

Chen said the company will become one of the top five shipbuilding companies in the world by the end of this year.

China State Shipbuilding built 3.57 million tons of new ships in 2004, a rise of 64.5% from 2003, of which 73.8% was exported, Xinhua said.

China built 8.8 million tons of ships last year, accounting for 14% of the world's total, the report said.

China has been the third-largest shipbuilder in the world for the last 10 years behind South Korea and Japan.

It is expected to build more than 10 million tons of ships this year, accounting for 18% of the world total, Xinhua said.
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