Wisdom Marine Group (慧洋海運集團), the nation’s largest dry bulk shipping company by fleet size, is upbeat about growth this year as it renegotiates higher contract prices with customers amid a gradual recovery in the global market.
The company is looking to renegotiate contracts for 48 vessels, with each expected to be inked at prices about 20 percent higher than a year earlier, Wisdom Marine president Cheng Chun-sheng (鄭俊聲) said at an investors’ conference in Taipei on Tuesday.
Higher contract prices are made possible by a rebound in the global dry bulk shipping market that began in the second half of last year, Cheng said, adding that the Baltic Dry Index — which tracks the costs of transporting dry commodities, such as coal, iron ore and grain, on 20 shipping routes — has been holding above 1,000 points throughout the slow season over the Lunar New Year holiday.
Improved market conditions would also help the company to replace older and less profitable vessels that were put on hold last year, Cheng said.
The company’s unaudited pretax profits for the first quarter surged 437.96 percent to US$7.38 million, he said.
During the same period, aggregate sales rose 20.1 percent to US$100.93 million, while aggregate operating profits rose 120.1 percent to US$23.79 million.
The company would dispose of between five and 10 vessels that are more than 15 years old and that are not equipped with ballast water treatment systems, which are required to meet environmental standards, Cheng said.
More stringent environmental regulations around the globe would continue to help ease a supply glut in the sector as more older and high-emission vessels are scrapped, he said.
However, the company is also facing challenges from tougher environmental regulations, as its vessels might be required to to use cleaner fuel worldwide, as opposed to only using cleaner fuel when entering ports with tougher controls in Europe and North America, he said.
Cheng downplayed the effects of a possible US-China trade war, and said that dry bulk shippers are nimble and quick to adapt to political shocks.
Most of the tariff hikes imposed by both sides are on end products, while dry bulk shippers mainly transport raw materials, such as iron sand, he said.
That could benefit dry bulk shippers, as there should be a larger demand for raw materials in the US when it implements its plans to boost manufacturing, Cheng said.
China needs to import food and the US needs to import raw materials, and dry bulk shippers are ready to accommodate any changes to trade partnerships by adapting their routes, Cheng said.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion