(Yicai Global) Aug. 15 -- The state assets manager in Liaoning province has handed a controlling stake in Liaoning Port Group, one of China's largest port operators by assets and shipments, to China Merchants Group, as the northeastern province takes steps to consolidate its dock and harbor resources.
China's State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission gave the nod for its Liaoning branch to transfer the 1.1 percent stake in the company to China Merchants' local unit at no cost, according to separate statements on Aug. 13 from Liaoning Port's three listed arms.
China Merchants, a large state-owned company based in Hong Kong, became a shareholder of Liaoning Port in 2017 and held 49.9 percent of its shares before the transfer.
Liaoning Port is the indirect controller of Dalian Port PDA and Yingkou Port Liability, and is Jinzhou Port's largest shareholder. After the deal, the Liaoning subsidiary of China Merchants will become the actual controller of Dalian Port and Yingkou Port. The smaller Jinzhou Port has no actual controller due to scattered equity.
Liaoning Port is a platform company set up by Liaoning's government to integrate various dock and harbor resources within the province and improve operational efficiency. China Merchants increased its capital in Liaoning Port in 2017.
Liaoning Port controls the northern coast of Bohai Bay and 10 major ports within Liaoning province, covering nearly 100 square kilometers. The company has 450,000-ton crude oil terminals, 400,000-ton ore terminals, 200,000-ton container terminals, 70,000-ton automobile ro-ro terminals, and the largest sea passenger port in China.
China Merchants is the largest public terminal operator in China and invests in ports in Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, Americas, Oceania and other regions, per its website. The group's port cargo throughput ranked second in the world last year.
Editor: Tang Shihua