Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hyundai launch Vietnam shipping JV

Hyundai Merchant Marine Company and a Vietnamese freight forwarder launched a shipping joint venture in southern Vietnam late last week.

The new entity, Hyundai Merchant Marine Vietnam, has US$300,000 in chartered capital with the local firm, Gemadept Corporation, holding a 49 percent stake.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based venture will offer marine shipping and other related services.

It’s expected to serve 6,000 TEUs per month initially. The amount is expected to increase once the country’s port facilities have expanded.

The Korean firm (HMM) – a marine service arm of Hyundai Group - is one of the major trans-Pacific marine transport carriers.

HMM has acted as an agent for Gemadept for 14 years.

Vietnam’s marine pre-WTO marine regulations did not allow foreign players to engage directly in the sector.

Yoo Chang Keun, deputy chairman of HMM, said it was seeking investment opportunities in building container ports in Vietnam.

HMM operates a 120 ship-fleet along 40 routes via 14 overseas subsidiaries and 70 offices and branches worldwide. The company’s operations frequent some of the world’s larges sea routes - trans-Pacific, Asia-Europe, trans-Atlantic and inter-Asia

Gemadept (General Forwarding & Agency Corporation) is Vietnam's largest listed freight forwarder.

The HCMC-listed firm is engaged a joint venture to build a VND3.7 trillion (US$229 million) Nhon Hoi International Port in Binh Dinh province’s Nhon Hoi Economic Zone.

The port is designed to have annual cargo throughput of 3 million tons by 2010 and 12 million tons by 2020 when in full performance.

The project is expected begin by the end of September.

The firm is also building a $35 million deepwater seaport in the central Dung Quat EZ – home of the country’s first oil refinery – alongside other local partners.

Gemadept is set to mobilize more funds to finance the construction of ports, industrial zones and ship purchases via a share issue of nearly 25 million later this year, or in 2008 at the latest.

The issue is expected to boost Gemadept's registered capital by 51.6 percent to VND720 billion ($44.7 million).

The freighter saw a 15 percent rise in revenues this year from last year's VND1.21 trillion ($75 million) and a jump in net profit of up to 30 percent from VND156 billion ($9.7 million).

Shares in Gemadept closed down 4.68 percent Monday to VND122,000.

Source: TBKTVN – Compiled by Dong Ha