SHANGHAI, March 30 (Reuters) - China's COSCO Shipping
Holdings Co Ltd made a loss last year of
9.9 billion yuan ($1.44 billion), the company reported on
Thursday, due to both persistently weak freight rates and
Freight shipping firms have been hit hard by a prolonged
downturn in rates caused by overcapacity and a slowdown in
COSCO, the world's fourth-largest container shipping line,
became a new company last year, born out of the merger of two
major domestic shipping firms, making year-on-year comparisons
Since then it has been restructuring, selling some units at
a loss and focusing on container shipping.
Revenue came in at 71.2 billion yuan.
COSCO said, however, it was seeing some positive signals in
demand and expects the overall market this year to be better
than that of 2016.
Its comments echo those of rivals including Denmark's Maersk
Line and Germany's Hapag Lloyd, which
have said the sector has entered a period of recovery with
freight rates expected to rise this year.
Seeking to save costs on key shipping routes, COSCO has also
formed a vessel-sharing alliance with France's CMA CGM
, Taiwan's Evergreen Line and Hong
Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line that starts
Shares in COSCO closed 0.28 percent higher in Hong Kong on
Thursday before the results, while the Hang Seng index
was down 0.37 percent.
($1 = 6.8880 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Greg