Cosco, the world’s largest shipping conglomerate, is still on the hunt for more acquisition targets, fresh from tabling a giant $6.3bn bid for Hong Kong containerline OOCL.
Senior management at Cosco Shipping International said at an interims press conference yesterday that the company was studying merger and acquisition opportunities as the shipping sector sees signs of a revival.
Ye Weilong, chairman of Cosco Shipping International, said he felt both the container and dry bulk sectors will show strong signs of growth in the next five years, however the tanker sector faced notable challenges.
According to Liu Gang, managing director of Cosco Shipping International, the company currently has a rich cash reserve of RMB6.42bn ($973m), much of which will go on new acquisitions.
Cosco Shipping International is the Hong Kong-based investment unit of Cosco Shipping Group. The company operates a wide range of businesses including ship trading, bareboat charters, insurance, marine fuels and commodity trading.
Cosco Shipping International reported a revenue of HK$3.809bn ($487m) for the first half of 2017, a year-on-year growth of 49%. It scored a net profit of HK$206m in the same period, up 42% year-on-year.
Cosco has bid to take over OOCL, a deal that still needs to be cleared by regulators across the world. In 2015, Cosco merged with another state-run company, China Shipping, cementing its position as the world’s largest maritime conglomerate.