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SinoShip gauges the opinion of China’s top brass
Asia Shipping Media Pte LtdFeb 29, 2012 09:33 SGT
Want to know where Chinese shipping is headed, and what top owners are thinking? Find out in the launch issue of SinoShip magazine
As the launch issue of SinoShip magazine readies to head to the printers, editor Sam Chambers takes readers through some of the top names canvassed in the issue.
In a startlingly frank interview in Hong Kong BW boss Helmut Sohmen warns: “A number of non-Chinese owners will be shut out of the game.”
Still, that doesn’t worry our lead profile this profile. As the ceo of SITC, the mainland’s largest private shipping line, Yang Xianxiang reckons his firm is well placed to withstand the vagaries of the container downturn, unlike others. “Container shipping is a global business with no shelter,” he says.
Over in Taipei, meanwhile, U-Ming’s president CK Ong, discusses his firm’s surprise capesize order this February, explaining: “Newbuild prices shouldn’t drop any further in the short term.”
That would be good news for China’s hard-pressed yards. President Tan Zuojun of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, the state run umbrella of government backed shipyards in the south of the nation, reckons half of all Chinese yards will be weeded out in the coming three-year slump and 2012 will be the biggest year of consolidation.
One shipbuilder though that continues to draw both admiration and business is Sinopacific, whose chairman and ceo tells us his secret. “As a private shipbuilder, we are not chasing large scale business blindly,” says Liang.
Liang’s firm is now offering innovative ship finance solutions via a Hong Kong subsidiary. The issue of ship finance is under the spotlight in this issue on various pages. The news that Dryships of Greece has secured a big loan in February from China Development Bank is scutinised. Greek ship finance expert George Xiradakis maintains: “Chinese banks offer competitive lending products both in loan structure as well as in financial cost.”
Other areas where shipping could learn a thing or two on the cash front from China is at the fast emerging Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE). President Zhang Ye tells us: “We will make shipping freight derivatives be one of the tools that the shipping industry can use to circumvent freight risks.”
And for those rare shipowners who have too much money at present, perhaps they can take a leaf out of Taiwan’s answer to Warren Buffet, Evergreen’s chairman Chang Yung-fa, who has announced he will leave his entire wealth to charity. “The happiness from earning a lot of money is fleeting because of the pain you feel when you lose it,” are his sage words.
SinoShip’s 12 correspondents based in five cities across Greater China have interviewed shipping’s top brass for our 80-page launch issue. On top of that the team has crunched numbers to provide unique data and perspective on China’s shipping future. For instance, did you know it takes 1,000 tonnes of water to produce one tonne of grain? China's freshwater resources per capita are significantly low at just a quarter of the world average or 2,134 cu m with several highly populated regions comparable to the Middle East so China is in effect using grain imports to balance its water books.
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