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Shares in OOCL’s parent climb to five-year high on renewed Cosco takeover speculation

Shares in the parent of Hong Kong containerline OOCL touched highs not seen for more than five years today as renewed speculation about a possible takeover by Cosco Shipping sparked a rally on the local stock exchange.

With just under two hours of trading to go, shares in Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) had climbed 5.74% to hit HK$57.10, the highest level seen since April 2012.

OOCL has repeatedly denied take over talk this year. However, with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Hong Kong at the moment to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the territory’s reunification with China, many analysts have felt that if a deal goes through it will be during Xi’s visit.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that state-backed Cosco Shipping had tabled an offer of more than $4bn to buy out OOCL – a deal that would see the Chinese carrier leapfrog CMA CGM to become the third largest in the world.

Splash understands however that the Tung family who control OOCL have been holding out for a figure nearer to $5bn.

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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