Sinotrans Ltd. and Sinotrans Shipping Ltd., controlled by China’s second-biggest commodity-shipping company, jumped in Hong Kong trading on a report about a merger between China Merchants Group and their parent.
Sinotrans Shipping rose as much as 19.9 percent, the most in more than six years, on Friday before narrowing gains to 5.5 percent at 11:04 a.m. Hong Kong time. Sinotrans Ltd. advanced as much as 11 percent.
China Merchants Group and Sinotrans & CSC Holdings Co. will restructure and integrate, shipping-industry website ship.sh reported, citing unidentified people close to the state-asset regulator and from the two companies. The Chinese government is seeking to overhaul state-run companies to introduce more market-oriented reforms to bolster a slowing economy.
The merger and restructuring between China Merchants Group and Sinotrans & CSC is “almost certain,” the ship.sh report said. The two companies had earlier cooperated in setting up a fleet of very large crude carriers, according to the report. China Merchants Group and Beijing-based Sinotrans & CSC couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. China’s markets are closed for two days to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II.
The move comes amid other mooted restructuring among Chinese shipping companies. The government may combine China Shipping Group and Cosco Group or merge some of their operations, people familiar with the matter said Aug. 7. Trading of their subsidiaries, including China Cosco and China Shipping Container Lines, has been suspended, ahead of “major transactions” by their parents.
China Merchants Group has interests in transportation and infrastructure construction, and also controls finance and real estate companies including China Merchants Bank Co. Sinotrans Shipping provides vessel chartering services, while Sinotrans is a logistic unit.