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  • BERLIN, June 29- United Arab Shipping Company said its six shareholding states backed a merger deal with German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd AG at a meeting on Wednesday. UASC, majority-held by the government of Qatar, said in a statement that "... all six of UASC's shareholding states voted unanimously to approve the proposed merger with Hapag-Lloyd AG...

  • BRUSSELS, June 28- World No.1 container liner Maersk, Swiss peer MSC and 13 other shipping firms are set to escape possible penalties as EU antitrust regulators plan to accept their offer to end a five-year probe, three people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The other 13 firms are No. 3 player CMA CGM, Germany's Hapag Lloyd and Hamburg Sud, Taiwan's...

  • PANAMA CITY, June 26- Panama opened the long-delayed $5.4 billion expansion of its shipping canal amid cheering crowds on Sunday, despite looming economic uncertainty in the shipping industry and a heated battle over billions in cost overruns. By 2021, the Panama Canal Authority is hoping the project will bring in $2.1 billion per year in added revenue,...

  • *Panama Canal cuts travel from Atlantic to Pacific by two weeks. SINGAPORE, June 26- Bigger ships could mean bigger paydays for commodity producers when the expanded Panama Canal opens this weekend as they can utilize larger vessels more frequently to tap into fast growing Asia-Pacific consumer markets. The Panama Canal Authority estimates that the enlarged...

  • *Chairman raises prospect of break-up of company. *Head of shipping business promoted to group CEO. COPENHAGEN, June 23- Danish shipping and oil group A. P. Moller-Maersk could split up into separate companies, its chairman said on Thursday after naming Soren Skou, the head of its container business, as chief executive.

  • COPENHAGEN, June 23- Danish shipping and oil group A. P. Moller-Maersk could be split up into separate companies, its chairman said on Thursday after naming Soren Skou, the head of its container business, as chief executive. He was speaking after company veteran Skou, 51, was appointed to replace Nils Smedegaard Andersen as group chief executive.

  • COPENHAGEN, June 23- Danish shipping and oil group A. P. Moller-Maersk has appointed Soren Skou, a company veteran who heads its container shipping business, as chief executive to steer it through a historic downturn in both its key markets. Skou, 51, replaces Nils Smedegaard Andersen who has been in the job since 2007.. The change comes just days after the grandson...

  • FRANKFURT, June 21- The European Central Bank has launched a review of banks' lending to the shipping industry, much of which is suffering a deep downturn, five people familiar with the situation told Reuters. The review by the ECB's banking supervisor has raised concerns among lenders, particularly in Germany, that they may be required to set aside more capital...

  • * "The industry is really suffering"- Maersk board member. LONDON, June 21- Denmark's Maersk Line is fighting to remain the world's no.1 container shipping carrier as a wave of mergers and acquisitions, particularly in Asia, creates new challengers trying to grab a bigger share of a depressed market. However, it faces Chinese rivals with global ambitions as well as...

  • PARIS, June 14- The dry bulk shipping industry may not emerge from a protracted downturn for another two years and some smaller firms will be squeezed out, the chairman of France's Louis Dreyfus Armateurs said on Tuesday. Some ship operators had taken heart from signs of a pick-up this year in the Chinese steel sector, but the dry bulk industry needs to be prudent...

  • *Yet strong China vehicle sales supportive of demand. SINGAPORE, June 13- Oil prices fell on Monday, weighed down by Asia's darkening economic prospects and a related strengthening in the U.S. dollar, which makes fuel imports for countries using other currencies more expensive. Yet, high Middle East tanker charting and strong car sales in China provided some...

  • SINGAPORE, June 10- The world's third-largest container shipping firm CMA CGM said on Friday that it now holds over 78 percent of the shares in Neptune Orient Lines, bringing it closer to taking the Singapore company private. Temasek Holdings and its affiliates have sold their shares in NOL to CMA CGM, the French firm said in a statement, the latest step in...

  • ANKARA, June 8- Iran said on Wednesday it had stopped exports of liquefied petroleum gas to Japan, but there were other customers available to buy the Islamic republic's LPG, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported. Japan's official customs-cleared trade data showed it last imported Iranian LPG in February 2012, before tough Western sanctions on tanker...

  • MOSCOW, June 8- Royal Dutch Shell has resumed purchases of Iranian crude, becoming the second major oil firm after Total to restart trade with Tehran after the lifting of sanctions, trading sources said and ship tracking data showed. Tehran's re-entry to the oil market has heightened tensions with arch-rival Saudi Arabia and attempts by OPEC to concoct a...

  • YAOUNDE, June 8- Cameroon's crude oil production rose 19.4 percent between January and April, compared with a year earlier, to 12.3 million barrels, the state oil company SNH said on Wednesday, without giving a reason for the higher production. National Hydrocarbons Corporation said in a statement that gas production, however, fell 5.8 percent to 4286,6 million...

  • June 6- Dry bulk shipper DryShips Inc said it had defaulted on three bank facilities and raised "substantial doubt" of its ability to stay in business, after being hit by a prolonged downturn in commodity prices and low charter rates. The company said in a regulatory filing on Monday that it was in breach of financial covenants and has elected to suspend principal...

  • ATHENS, June 6- Moves by China to stockpile oil are providing a further boost to the tanker shipping market which is already buoyant due to global bargain-hunting caused by lower crude prices, shipowners said on Monday. China is expected to add 70-90 million barrels to its strategic crude oil purchases in 2016 as it takes advantage of low prices, a Reuters survey...

  • *Trade to Iran down at Russian port after end of sanctions. ASTRAKHAN, Russia, June 3- When sanctions on Iran were lifted in January, Russia might have expected to be near the front of the queue for business opportunities. On the evidence of the commerce passing through the Caspian Sea port of Astrakhan, the main jumping-off point for Russian sea-borne trade with...

  • WARSAW, June 3- Polish freight group PKP Cargo is benefiting from rising demand for rail transport between China and Europe, a route that is developing as a modern day Silk Road. The company now operates 20 such trains each week, carrying mostly high value-added goods from China bound for Western Europe. It usually takes PKP's trains 11-14 days to get from China to...

  • LONDON, June 2- The shareholders of Middle East container shipping group United Arab Shipping Company back the company's merger talks with German rival Hapag-Lloyd although there has not yet been a vote to approve a deal, UASC said on Thursday. If a deal is reached it will create a group with an estimated combined enterprise value of around 7 billion to 8 billion...