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Maersk Advances as China Container Rates Jump: Copenhagen Mover

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S (MAERSKB), owner of the world’s largest container line, rose in Copenhagen trading on speculation that freight rate increases will succeed in restoring profits on the shipping company’s biggest trade route.

Maersk’s B shares jumped as much as 2.1 percent, rising for a third day. The stock gained 1.9 percent to 41,800 kroner at 1:02 p.m. local time, with trading volume at 42 percent of the three-month daily average. The advance outpaced a 0.9 percent increase in the Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen 20 (KFX) index.

Container companies, including Copenhagen-based Maersk Line, have said they plan to raise rates starting today in an effort to combat price declines caused by overcapacity. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, a measure of box rates out of China, jumped 22 percent at the end of last week, the most since at least November 2010.

According to Nordea Market calculations, 96 percent of the rate increases on Asia-to-Europe trade -- Maersk Line’s most important route -- were successful. Nordea repeated a strong buy recommendation on Maersk shares and a price estimate of 53,000 kroner.

“We are fully aware that rates will start to deteriorate already next week, as we saw throughout last year,” Finn Bjarke Petersen, a Copenhagen-based analyst at Nordea, said in today’s note. “However, we expect that ocean carriers will follow up” with more rate increases in the second half of the year, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Wienberg in Copenhagen at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Brogger at tbrogger@bloomberg.net

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