Japanese investors unimpressed with heads of major shipping lines

Japanese investors unimpressed with heads of major shipping lines

Investors are losing confidence in the leadership of the nation’s top shipping lines, which are struggling to make profits in today’s gloomy shipping markets.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, just 57% of shareholders approve of Eizo Murakami, the president of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), the nation’s third largest line, down from 86% a year ago.

Support is also on the wane for Junichiro Ikeda, president of the nation’s top line Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL). Shareholder approval ratings of Ikeda today stand at 77%, down from 98% a year earlier.

Mitsui OSK posted a loss of Y170bn ($1.7bn) last fiscal year, triple that of K Line’s.

The Bloomberg report also revealed that hedge fund Effissimo Capital Management now has a 34.2% stake in K Line, up from 6.2% in August. Effissimo Capital Management, established in Singapore by ex-colleagues of activist investor Yoshiaki Murakami, has become the top shareholder in the line as well as in other well known Japanese brands such as office equipment maker Ricoh. Its strategy has been to target Japanese firms it deems undervalued.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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