Felistowe Dockers

Felistowe Dockers

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Billionaire’s Pakistan Terminal to Start After 5-Year Delay

by Faseeh Mangi (Reuters) Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd. is set to start its second Pakistan terminal after a five-year delay, giving mega vessels access to the coastal city of Karachi for the first time.
Hutchison’s terminal operations in South Asia’s second-largest economy will commence before the end of this year, as agreed with the Karachi Port Trust, the company said in an e-mailed reply to questions on Monday.
Li’s company, a unit of his Hong Kong-based flagship CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., is tapping into expanding growth in Pakistan as China plans investments valued at $46 billion in power plants and road projects. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government is targeting an annual growth rate of 7 percent next year as the country is set to complete an International Monetary Fund loan program next month.
“Pakistan has been lagging behind big time and now we are moving into the future with this terminal being one of the deepest in the region,” Abid Butt, chief executive officer of Karachi-based freight company e2e Supply Chain Management Ltd., said by phone. “The port can become a transshipment location given India is congested and located better than Dubai’s Jabel Ali.”
Hutchison Port shares gained 1.2 percent to 0.440 Singapore dollars as of 9:01 a.m. in Singapore trading. The stock was down 18 percent this year as of the close Monday. 

Karachi Delays

More than half of the nation’s total trade is done through transshipment, said Butt. However, roads around the port in Pakistan’s biggest city will need to be expanded to accommodate cargo from the world’s largest ships, he said.
South Asia Pakistan Terminals Ltd. will handle as much as 1.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units a year and increase the nation’s container handling capacity by more than half, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the plans are private. 
Hutchison’s port will begin operations in the last week of October and will aim to handle 250,000 twenty-foot equivalent units in the first year of operations and increase that to more than 2 million in five years, the person said.
The commercial operations of the terminal with a depth of 16 meters was initially expected to start in 2011, four years after the agreement. Bureaucratic wrangling and a slowdown in road construction and dredging delayed the port operator’s plans, the person said. Some road works and dredging are still not complete, the person said.

‘Leftover Dredging’

“Most of the work is done and the leftover dredging and road work will be complete before the launch,” said Shafiq Faridi, spokesman for the Karachi Port Trust said by phone.
Pakistan handles about 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent, including Hutchison’s first venture Karachi International Container Terminal that started in 1998.
The Middle East, Asia, Australia and others including Panama are key to Li’s ports business, accounting for more than one-third of the container throughput volumes for the business last year. Li is Hong Kong’s richest man, with his wealth estimated to have risen $1.3 billion this year to $31.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
However, a difficult global trading environment put Li’s ports business under pressure in recent years. The ports division, which accounted for 9 percent of CK Hutchison’s revenue, posted a 9 percent drop in earnings before interest and taxes in the first half due to a decline in throughput volumes.
© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

DP World 'well positioned' in tough and uncertain markets, as first-half profits soar

DP World has reported robust first-half results from its global portfolio of container terminals, saying despite the challenging market, it expects an equally strong performance in H2.
Sales grew by 10.2% in the first six months, compared with the same period of 2015, to $2.094bn, supported by the acquisitions of the Jebel Ali Free Zone in the UAE and the Prince Report container terminal in Canada.
On a like-for-like basis, turnover increased by 2.5%, driven by a 4% improvement in average revenue per teu from a total throughput of 31.4 million teu. This is 2.5% higher than the previous year, up 1.2% if the acquisitions are excluded.
Net profit in the six month period at the world’s fifth-biggest container terminal operator surged 50.2% on H1 2015, to $608m.
“The more modest like-for-like earnings growth is a reflection of the challenging trade environment,” said DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
“The outlook for trade growth remains uncertain. However, we believe our portfolio is well positioned to continue to outperform the market,” he added.
Markets in Australia and the Americas proved challenging for DP World, resulting in a 9.6% drop in revenue as throughput declined.
Moreover, DP World said it retained “the flexibility to bring on extra capacity in line with demand”, demonstrated by its flagship Jebel Ali port’s Terminal 3 capacity expansion of 1.5 million teu being pushed back until next year, due to “softer market conditions”.
Capex investments totalled $586m in the first half of 2016, including the 1 million teu third berth at the UK’s London Gateway, which is expected to be operational by the end of the year.
The additional berthing facility will be opened in good time for London Gateway to pitch for the UK hub port calls of one of the rejigged three east-west vessel sharing alliances that will come into being in April next year, and thus achieve its target of having a blue-chip Asia liner service in its customer portfolio.
Hitherto, despite gaining several new services since its opening in October 2013, London Gateway has been unable to secure a regular call from one of the current four alliances, instead offering ad-hoc solutions for ships delayed at congested ports elsewhere.
However, the procurement teams from the two new reconfigured alliances – the Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance – will be looking closely at the offer from London Gateway, with the latter grouping said to be favourite to select the River Thames facility.
DP World’s shares was up about 1% at the close of the Nasdaq Dubail exchange today to $18.92, with its stock having climbed from around $17 per share at the beginning of August.

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