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Ship firm banks on timing for HK float

Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industry Co may go public in Hong Kong as early as this year to raise US$2 billion.

"An initial public offering within the year is possible, though more likely in 2010," Zhang Ming, managing director of Rongsheng, said in Shanghai yesterday.

The company delayed plans for an IPO last year amid weak stock markets and the global financial crisis.

The country's largest private shipbuilder signed a contract for very large ore carriers in Shanghai yesterday. The four 400,000-deadweight-ton vessels will be delivered to Oman Shipping Co between 2011 and 2012.

The contract is valued at about US$480 million, according to Shanghai Securities News, citing an unnamed source close to Rongsheng.

Vale will charter the four vessels to ship pellet feed from Brazil to its future plant in Oman. This follows on from the contract signed by Vale and Rongsheng for 12 very large ore carriers.

Shipbuilding has been hit by the global economic downturn, and orders for new vessels have plunged.

New ship orders in China in the first five months were 1.18 million deadweight tons, down 96 percent from the same period last year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

"The shipping industry will rebound from 2010 but it will take more time to fully recover," Zhang said.


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