With China's appetite for shipping showing no signs of slowing, investors continued to eye-up further purchases in ports and related services. Among those assessing the market was China Merchants Holdings, which hinted in September that it was looking to capitalize on plans by Shenzhen authorities to sell off municipally-held port assets. The city's move to offload its stake in the port's Shenzhen Nanyou (Group) is part of an ongoing round of state asset restructurings.
Shenzhen is currently the fourth biggest container port in the world and, with cheaper rates and more room for expansion, is growing at a rate much faster than neighboring Hong Kong.
Meanwhile shipping giant Cosco Pacific won shareholder backing to buy an RMB 1.05 billion, 16.23% stake in Shenzhen-listed container maker China International Marine Containers from parent company Cosco Group. The company also disclosed it might make further port investments, naming Nansha port in Guangzhou.
Further north in Shanghai – China's busiest port – Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Port Holdings said it had finalized a deal that will give it four more berths in Shanghai's Waigaoqiao port development after the Hong Kong-based firm agreed to form a 50-50 joint venture with state-held Shanghai International Port Group.
The deal will see Hutchison invest in a 50-year concession at Waigaoqiao Phase V. Assuming the deal goes through, the agreement will bring the number of berths controlled by Hutchison in the port of Shanghai to 17.