One of the world’s biggest shipping companies, CMA CGM, has said shipments from China are returning to normal, even as investors bet against the French group’s solvency, reported the Financial Times.
Rodolphe Saadé, chief executive of Marseille-based CMA CGM, told the Financial Times: “The warehouses are empty in Europe, they need to order from China to fulfill demand. Factories are at 80% of full production, and we think by the end of March the situation will be back to normal.”
However, Saadé warned the economic shock was shifting from China to Europe. “Today we can see it’s becoming a global crisis,” he said. “In Europe there is a lot of fear over the coronavirus.”
Fear is stalking CMA GGM itself. The value of the privately held company’s debt has plummeted in the last few weeks, with its five-year bond trading at just 65 cents on the euro, as bondholders brace for heavy losses. The company has a €725 million ($828 million) bond maturing in January that will need either refinancing or repaying with an equity raise.