CCSC seeks to buy port assets in BRI’s name
Thursday, Mar 15, 2018
State-owned China COSCO Shipping Corp. (CCSC), which already controls ports and shipping terminals on three continents, intends to buy more assets as part of its contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

CCSC was particularly interested in acquisitions in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Splash 24/7 quoted its Chairman Xu Lirong as saying on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress meetings in Beijing. Xu did not specify which target countries or ports his company is interested in.

China COSCO Group, of which CCSC is part, is developing a formidable crude tanker and LNG fleet as well as working with China Merchants Group, Lloyds List reported recently. The two are aiming for global leadership in shipping and ports, it said.

The two state-owned enterprises (SOEs) already operate ports or terminals within Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.

CCSC established a special fund in February 2017 to acquire foreign ports or stakes in them. Since then it has bought a majority shareholding in Belgium’s Zeebrugge container terminal and stakes in Spain’s Valencia and Bilbao and hinterland railways, World Maritime News said.

At the end of 2017, the enterprise completed its six-month bid to buy Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas Container Line for US$6.3 billion. That acquisition has made CCSC the world’s third largest shipping company, Bloomberg said.

In 2016, CCSC paid US$418 million to acquire control of Greece’s Piraeus port.

Another branch of the China COSCO Group, COSCO Shipping Energy Transport, recently announced it was ordering 14 new oil tankers of varying capacity and was buying 50% stakes in two LNG carriers.

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