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COSCO given $15bn credit line by ICBC

COSCO given $15bn credit line by ICBC

Singapore: As part of Beijing's dramatic stimulus plan the world's richest bank ICBC has given COSCO a $15bn credit line, delegates attending the 2nd Asia Maritime Law Conference in Singapore were told. China COSCO Holdings reported full year earnings down 40% this week. Beijing is desperate to get local owners to snap up cancelled ships at local yards, with COSCO primed as saviour-in-chief though the move is seen by the global shipping industry as a bad thing, with the orderbook needing severe pruning before rates can be restored. The whole Beijing stimulus plan for shipping and shipbuilding could well spell a paradigm shift for global shipping with the state owned Chinese fleet growing to such an extent that it will supplant the need for foreign vessels to supply local steel mills and utilities, which was the original catalyst for the rate boom seen in October 2003.   [24/04/09]

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