“We are in discussions but nothing can be announced yet,” Alex Chen Bin, general manager of the investor relations department at Cosco Pacific, told the newspaper. Talks started after the company found out, through informal channels, that Qingdao Port was likely to be listed in Hong Kong next year.
Cosco’s move follows that of China Merchants Holdings (International), when, in June, the company announced that it wanted to acquire a stake in Qingdao Port.
Two months ago it was reported that the port operator was planning an initial public offering of up to US$300m, a figure that is said to have risen to US$500m now. Qingdao Port planned to list on the mainland since 2007, but was forced to look elsewhere after regulators suspended IPOs there in October.
The firm operates four port areas, which can handle the world’s largest container ships, very large iron-ore carriers, very large crude carriers and bulk vessels. It processed 407m tonnes of cargo last year, including 14.5m teu, according to its website.
In the first half of this year, tonnage jumped 11% to 230.5m tonnes, while container throughput grew 10.4% to 8m teu.
(Source: South China Morning Post)