Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運), the nation’s second-largest container shipper in terms of fleet size, yesterday said it had sold a 12.5 percent stake in Kao Ming Container Terminal Corp (KMCT, 高明貨櫃碼頭) to NYK Group of Japan.
The disposal plan is expected to generate a total of US$26.94 million gains for Yang Ming this quarter, which will help narrow the firm’s net losses.
The company on Friday released 85 million shares in KMCT — its container terminal operator subsidiary in Kaohsiung Harbor — to Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha Ltd (NYK Line) and its subsidiary Nippon Container Terminals Co Ltd at a price of US$0.66 per share.
“Their [NYK Group’s] investment in KMCT will provide a good opportunity for the exchange of experience with Yang Ming and will contribute much to international carriers’ use of Kaohsiung Harbor and the future development of KMCT,” Yang Ming said in a press release.
KMCT, which started operations in January 2011, is a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project by Yang Ming and Taiwan International Ports Co Ltd (台灣港務).
The container terminal handled 1.08 million twenty-foot equivalent units respectively in 2011 and last year.
To raise the container terminal’s competitiveness, Yang Ming has been searching for international strategic partners interested in investing in KMCT since last year and sold a 10 percent stake in KMCT to Ports America International Holdings Cooperative, an affiliate of the US terminal operator Ports America Group, in July last year.
The company then sold a 30 percent stake in KMCT at the end of last year to a Hong Kong-based joint venture formed by three Chinese companies — COSCO Pacific Ltd (中遠太平洋), China Shipping Terminal Development Co (中海碼頭發展) and China Merchants Holdings (International) Co (招商局國際).
In addition to the share disposal, Yang Ming could see some opportunities to return to the black this year, after freight rates in the third quarter exhibited a rebound.
The company reported a net loss of NT$2.64 billion (US$89.47 million), or NT$0.81 per share, in the second quarter, with cumulative losses reaching NT$5.32 billion, or NT$1.62 per share, in the first half of the year, company data showed.
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