Hutchison tycoon sells shares in two Chinese carriers
The China stock market jitters aren't slowing down, it seems.
Barely a week after Temasek Holdings, the Singapore government's investment holding company, divested itself of shares in two of China's biggest banks as well as China COSCO Group (parent of shipping line COSCO), the head of Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa (parent of terminal operator Hutchison Port Holdings) sold $287 million in shares of COSCO.
According to a report in IFR, Li Ka-shing 'does not seem to have an optimistic outlook for the China shipping sector, or perhaps the Hong Kong stock market as a whole.'
The report also said another of Li's companies, Cheung Kong, sold shares worth $198 million in another Chinese ocean carrier, China Shipping.
Analysts are split on whether China's stock market bubble — which has seen a spike in the share prices of transportation and infrastructure-related public companies — is due for a burst, or at least a correction.
As early as January 2007, even Chinese legislators were concerned that the overheating economy and surging share prices would lead to some 'irrational investor behavior,' according to a Financial Times report from the time. Now there's widespread belief that shares could tumble. And the selling of shares in Chinese shipping lines by the parent companies of the world's two biggest terminal operators (Temasek controls PSA International) won't be generating any confidence in the other direction.