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Safesea turns its attention to Ceylon Shipping Corporation

While watching its bid to privatise Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) go through countless layers of red tape in New Delhi, US-based Safesea has turned its attention to another well known name in south Asian shipping circles.

According to the Economic Times of India, Safesea has lodged a bid to take a 40% stake in Ceylon Shipping Corporation, a state-run company, that like the nation of Sri Lanka, finds itself in financial trouble at the moment. Both Safesea and Ceylon Shipping have confirmed the bid to create a public-private partnership has been lodged.

Safesea is a New Jersey-headquartered shipping company started by Indian-born businessman SV Anchan two decades ago. It has been in the mix to take over Mumbai-based SCI, and was nominated as a finalist in the bids for the Indian flagship. However, the Indian government has since extended the tender time for the planned privatisation for many months without setting a confirmed date to complete the process.

Founded in 1971, Ceylon Shipping today has two bulk carriers and two tugs in its fleet, according to shipping database Equasis. It is also involved in port agency and has chartered in feeder boxships in the past.

With the Sri Lankan economy on the ropes in recent weeks, the government is receptive to all foreign investment ideas at present.

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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