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China's new shipping giant rides the economic storm

China's new shipping giant rides the economic storm

Shanghai: Sinotrans is now one of the three largest shipping groups in China following this year's merger with CSC, president Zhao Huxiang told Seatrade during an exclusive interview at this week's Marintec China.

Fusing with Changjiang Shipping Corp of China (CSC) as of January this year created a mega-group with 110,000 employees, annual turnover of $15bn and net assets worth around $18bn, including more than 2,000 ships, which together with newbuilds under construction total around 17m dwt, he revealed.

Sinotrans was also already China's largest freight forwarder, second largest shipping agency and owner of some 20 inland river ports, Zhao continued, as well as a major owner of tankers, bulkers and car carriers. The merger with CSC has added a heavy involvement in river vessels and shipbuilding. The combined group will now focus on shipping, logistics and shipbuilding, exploiting synergies between the three segments, said Zhao.

Financially the group remains strong despite the downturn, thanks partly to its limited exposure to the container sector and partly to prudent husbanding of resources. Shipping arm Sinotrans Shipping raised $1.5bn in an IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2007 and subsequently posted a 2008 profit of $400m, which reduced down to a still impressive $50m profit for first half 2009. "Profit for the whole group is much bigger," stressed president Zhao.  [03/12/09]