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Leading carriers see stock value down up to 35% on Covid-19

Photo: Wan Hai Lines WH501-1M.jpeg
The world’s leading container carriers have seen their stock value diminished by 10% to 35% over the first half of this year amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, according to analyst Alphaliner.

Maersk’s B shares, consisting of container and other activities, hit a low of DKK4,976 ($753) per share on 23 March, down 48% from the first trading day of this year.

Despite a steady recovery since, the stock at the end of June remained 20% off the start of the year, Alphaliner noted.

Diversified Cosco Shipping Holdings saw its shares plunged 45% at its lowest, and a low of HKD1.90 ($0.25) was seen in May. The Chinese company’s shares were off 35% at end of June compared to the start of the year.

‘Pure’ container stocks – OOCL, Evergreen, Wan Hai and Yang Ming – saw less volatility and fared better overall, as the three Taiwanese lines saw maximum stock declines in the 30-35% range in the first half, and OOCL a 20% decrease.

“March 19-23 notably marked a dramatic loss of confidence by Asian investors, as Italy’s death toll overtook China’s: Evergreen, Yang Ming and Wan Hai each saw 52-week lows of TWD8.90 ($0.30), TWD4.72 and TWD 11.85 in this three-day trading period,” Alphaliner stated.

By the end of the first half, Asian carriers actually recovered a considerable portion of their value, with Evergreen down 15%, and Yang Ming, Wan Hai and OOCL all down 11% compared to the start of the year.

“The first trading days of July have seen positive gains for all carriers but shares remain 20-30% off their 52-week highs – with the exception of Hapag-Lloyd and HMM. Hapag-Lloyd’s stock was trading around EUR55 ($62) this week after hitting a stratospheric EUR186 in May, distorted by the company’s small public float and share building by two investors,” Alphaliner wrote.

“However, loss-making HMM was trading just 13% off its 52-week high on Monday. The company has benefited from fresh state aid, with investors also apparently backing recent fleet capacity increases and expecting improved results after joining THE Alliance.”