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India’s Shipping Corp. to Buy Two Bulk Vessels as Prices Plunge

Shipping Corp. of India Ltd., the nation’s largest sea-cargo carrier, will buy two second-hand supramax dry-bulk vessels by the end of the month as prices plunge amid a glut of new vessels.

“There are distress sales available in the market, and we want to take advantage,” Director Arun Kumar Gupta said yesterday by phone from Mumbai, where the company is based. He declined to comment on the price the shipping line will pay.

Shipping Corp. may also issue a tender for two used panamax ships next month and it will look to buy three 3,500-container vessels as well, Gupta said. The government-controlled company raised 11.6 billion rupees ($260 million) selling new shares last year to help pay for vessels as the nation’s 8 percent-plus economic growth stokes sea-cargo traffic.

The shipping line fell 0.2 percent to 109.25 rupee at 9:43 a.m. in Mumbai trading. It’s dropped 16 percent this year, compared with an 11 percent decline for the benchmark Sensex Index.

The company had planned to buy a total of 62 vessels in the five years to 2012. It has so far ordered 35 new ships and bought one second-hand, Gupta said.

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