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Pacific Basin to Sell Car Ships to Focus on Dry Bulk

Pacific Basin Shipping Ltd., Hong Kong’s biggest dry-bulk ship operator, plans to sell a terminal in China and its vehicle-carrying ships to focus on delivering commodities after posting a $196 million first-half net loss.

The sales will allow Pacific Basin to “focus all our attention and all our investment on the dry cargo business,” Mats Henrik Berglund, who took over as chief executive officer in June, said in an interview today in Hong Kong. The interim loss was the first since its 2004 initial public offering.

The company plans to sell all six of its RoRo, or roll-on, roll-off, vehicle-carrying ships eventually as part of a plan to stem losses caused by a global glut in vessels, said Berglund. Pacific Basin wrote down $190 million against its investment in the vessels during the first half.

The company will sell its first RoRo “as soon as possible,” and will divest the terminal in China as early as this year, Berglund said.

Pacific Basin owns and operates a general cargo terminal in Nanjing, Jiangsu province in a joint venture with the Nanjing Port Group.

The company’s dry bulk ships, which haul commodities including logs, nickel and copper, posted profit of $7.5 million in the period.

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