OOCL parent company shares surge on merger speculation
SHARES in Orient Overseas International Ltd. (OOIL), the parent company of ocean carrier Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), have jumped more than 25 per cent since the end of 2016.
The company's stock price hit a 52-week high of HK$39.70 (US $5.12) amid speculation that the company might be a possible merger candidate.
The company's stock price is up more than 25 per cent since December 29, and has traded as low as HK$25.75 in the past year.
Hong Kong-based OOCL is ranked as the ninth largest container carrier worldwide. Cosco Shipping and Evergreen Line have been touted as potential buyers for OOCL, although the analyst noted that neither company has publicly expressed any interest in participating in a new round of liner acquisitions. Cosco and Evergreen are OOCL's partners in the new Ocean Alliance that is due to be launched in April this year, together with CMA CGM.
"OOCL has long been viewed as a prize catch due to its consistently profitable container shipping operations and strong yield management, however, it has not been immune to the liner market downturn and is expected to post a full-year net loss for 2016, its first negative annual performance since 2009.
According to OOIL's most recent annual report, voting rights for approximately 430 million shares - 68.7 percent of the firm's stock - are held by chief executive C C Tung through Tung Holdings (Trustee) Inc.
19 January 2017