(Yicai Global) April 7 -- COSCO Shipping Holdings’ Hong Kong stock vaulted 30 percent today to hit a 12-year high after the Chinese sea freight giant predicted a staggering 53-time leap in profit in the first quarter from the same period last year on the back of surging transportation rates amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Hong Kong-listed shares of COSCO Shipping [HKG:1919] soared 29.11 percent to close at HKD13.66 (USD1.70) after earlier reaching HKD13.76, the highest level since September 2008. Its Shanghai-listed stock [SHA:601919] hit the exchange-imposed daily limit of 10 percent to finish at CNY16.15 (USD2.47).
Net profit is expected to reach CNY15.5 billion (USD2.4 billion) in the three months ended March 31, compared to just CNY292 million (USD44.6 million) in the same period last year, the Shanghai-based firm said in its latest earnings report released yesterday.
Shipping rates have more than doubled from a year earlier because of an acute shortage of containers and shipping space. The China Containerized Freight Index soared 53.8 percent in the first quarter from the previous quarter to 1,960.99.
China lacks shipping capacity as huge containers stack up in overseas ports and do not return, mainly due to a lack of orders from foreign markets. Two-week quarantines of ships and their crews slow down customs clearance, in turn driving up prices.
Shares in the firm’s affiliated units all experienced a lift. COSCO Shipping Development [SHA:601866], which mainly leases container ships, hit the upper limit in Shanghai to reach CNY2.96 (USD0.45), and its Hong Kong stock swelled 13.85 percent to HKD1.48 (USD0.18).
COSCO Shipping Specialized Carriers [SHA:600428] shot up by daily max in Shanghai to CNY4.28 and COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation saw its Hong Kong shares [HKG:1138] frogleap 8.28 percent to HKD3.66.
Editor: Kim Taylor