One of China’s more high profile casualties in the dry bulk sector has broken cover, buying its first ship in decade.
Hebei Ocean Shipping Co (Hosco), led by Gao Yanming, was one of the fastest growing dry bulk companies in the world in the previous decade. However, it was laid low by the sudden crash in rates in 2008, which saw much of its fleet and key subsidiaries hived off.
Now broking sources tell Splash it has done its first ship deal for a decade, albeit one that looks like an internal shuffling of ownership papers.
Hosco has taken a 2013-built post-panamax HB Princess that was formerly owned by its now defunct Hong Kong chartering arm, North China Lines. The ship has been renamed Mild Sea and reflagged from Hong Kong to the Bahamas. It is registered at Hosco’s home address in Hebei province in the north of China.
The ship was originally part of a kamsarmax quartet ordered by Hosco which made the headlines when arrested, repossessed, ending up with Raffles Shipping Group in Singapore.
The Hosco fleet today now stands at 12 capesizes and six post-panamax bulkers, a far cry from the 100-plus it controlled at its peak.