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Maersk may target Hanjin, Hyundai in new acquisition plan

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S’s container line, which this month ditched a strategy of building new vessels and will instead try to grow through acquisitions, is targeting South Korea’s two biggest shipping firms, according to Jefferies International Ltd. Hanjin Shipping Co. last month filed for bankruptcy protection and Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. is in the middle of a creditor-led debt-restructuring program. Both are in need of a strong partner and Maersk Line, the world’s biggest, is probably the only rival with the financial muscle to manage a takeover, David Kerstens, Jefferies’s transport analyst in London, said in an interview. Hanjin shares surged as much as 26 percent. “Maersk, as the market leader, will definitely participate in the consolidation – they will have to,” Kerstens said. But “the takeover options for Maersk are fairly limited, …

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Baltic Exchange shareholders okay $112-M takeover by SGX

London – Baltic Exchange shareholders approved on Monday an 87 million pound ($112 million) takeover by Singapore Exchange (SGX) for one of London's oldest institutions, in a deal giving SGX access to the multi-billion-dollar freight derivatives market. As the global shipping industry struggles with poor market conditions, SGX offered – after months of talks – Baltic shareholders 160.41 pounds per share. Shareholders will receive separately 19.30 pounds per share from the unlisted Baltic as a final dividend, giving the privately-owned business a total valuation of about 87 million pounds. At its general meeting, 95 percent of those voting, or 228 shareholders, approved the deal. Many of the Baltic's shareholders are in the shipping industry and include ship brokers, companies and individuals. "This is about people actually taking a step back and saying is this …

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UN calls for stepped-up security checks for planes and airports

United Nations – Responding to increasing attacks on airports and aircraft, the UN Security Council unanimously approved its first-ever resolution to address extremist threats to civil aviation and urge beefed-up security. The UN's most powerful body called for stepped up screening and security checks at airports worldwide to “detect and deter terrorist attacks.” And it called on all countries to tighten security at airport buildings, share information about possible threats, and provide advance passenger lists so governments are aware of their transit or attempted entry. “The Security Council has delivered a resounding call to action for the international community,” said Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. “This is the first UN Security Council resolution ever to focus on the threats by terrorists to civil aviation and it demonstrates our joint resolve to protect …

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Airlines embrace pollution plan that could cost them $24 B yearly

The aviation industry is supporting a United Nations proposal to limit pollution from international flights even though the measure may eventually cost companies $24 billion annually. Trade groups representing United Continental Holdings Inc., Boeing Co. and other industry leaders are pushing nations to join the agreement, which would require companies to offset their emissions growth by funding environmental initiatives. The accord, being brokered in Montreal during 11 days of talks beginning Tuesday, would be the first global climate pact targeting a single industry. Exhaust from international flights accounts for about two percent of global greenhouse gases, yet was largely omitted from the Paris accord on climate change last year because delegates feared divvying up responsibility for global routes could derail the broader deal. With aviation emissions forecast to triple by 2050, airlines …

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PPA prepares for higher cargo volume months

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has assured the expected upsurge in cargo volumes during the “ber” months would not trigger a repeat of congestion that affected operations in Manila ports. PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said the cargo volume in the country went up by 11 percent from January to July this year compared to the same period in 2015. “Despite the surging numbers, we guarantee that our ports remain clogged-free and can accommodate the increasing cargo, passenger and ship call volumes,” Santiago said. “The strong performance of the cargo segment underscores the country’s economic resilience. The strong numbers in the passage sector also suggests the continuing vibrancy of both the local and international travel industries and more people are now considering travelling using ships,” he added. Combined yard utilization at Manila ports …

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New funding assistance to Hanjin should cover cargo offloading fees

Seoul– South Korea's government said cash held by Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd. and funds pledged by its parent group should meet the costs of unloading some $14 billion in cargo stranded on vessels operated by the troubled container line. The collapse of South Korea's biggest shipping operator late last month has plunged the shipping industry into chaos ahead of the crucial year-end holiday shopping season as dozens of vessels and their crews wait for money needed to pay for port and handling fees. The government said a 60 billion won ($54 million) loan pledged by Korean Air Lines Co., Hanjin's largest shareholder, and additional support promised by executives associated with the firm should cover the costs related to the offloading of all Hanjin ships. "We've calculated the costs that will be needed to …

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Central, North Luzon businesses urged to use Subic port

Businesses located in Central and Northern Luzon have been urged to patronize Subic Bay Freeport for cost efficiency and faster logistics turnaround time. The Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., an organization of businesses based in the Province of Pampanga, made this call its members and partners during the recent 53rd quarterly general members meeting of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce. Levy P. Laus, PAMCHAM chairman emeritus, said choosing Subic port as point of entry and exit for import and export of goods will not only help reduce costs but will also save another business critical resource — time. “Doing business in Subic is the most logical decision. It should be the primary port for businesses in North Luzon,” Laus said. According to Laus, since there is no congestion in Subic, business transactions …

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Maersk ends mega-ship building, shifts to buying

The owner of the world’s largest container shipping line will stop ordering newly built vessels and instead pursue takeovers in an industry that has been plagued by overcapacity for almost a decade. A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, whose Maersk Line unit has repeatedly broken the world records it has regularly set in mega container ships developed with Asian ship yards, “is done with ordering new steel,” Michael Pram Rasmussen told Bloomberg at the the company’s Copenhagen headquarters. “If Maersk Line needs to grow, it doesn’t make sense to order new ships as there are already too many ships in the market,” Rasmussen said. “So if we want to grow, we need to do it through acquisitions so that we don’t flood the market with more ships.” Maersk Line still has 27 ships in its order …

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Maersk to split into 2 separate divisions: Transport and Energy

Danish shipping and oil giant A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S said Thursday it will split its operations into two separate divisions focused on transport and energy as it battles one of the worst ever shipping down-cycles and a historic oil-price rout. Maersk Line, the company’s biggest unit and the world’s largest container operator in terms of capacity, will spearhead a new Transport & Logistics division, while the group’s extensive oil interests will be pooled under an Energy division, in what is seen as the biggest shake-up in the group’s 100-year plus history. The Transport & Logistics division will consist of Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Damco, Svitzer and Maersk Container Industry businesses. Maersk Line has been tasked with growing market share, both organically and through acquisitions. The four businesses within the Energy unit – Maersk Oil, …

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RBS startas winding down shipping business

London – The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has begun winding down its global shipping finance business, it said on Tuesday, ending efforts to sell it off during a worsening downturn across the freight industry. Chief Executive Ross McEwan is battling to complete a restructuring of the British bank, which includes asset sales and thousands of job cuts, amid a low-interest rate environment that makes finding profitable new business tough. "In line with the bank's strategy to create a simpler, stronger, and more sustainable bank, better aligned to the needs of our customers in the UK and Western Europe, we are commencing the wind down of our shipping business," an RBS spokesperson said. "We understand how difficult this will be for our staff and we will be offering support to those affected, including …

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