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Maersk's former head praises restructuring efforts

  • Maersk's ongoing restructuring is improving shareholder value, former group chief executive Nils Andersen said at the Singapore Summit
  • The company's recent slide in share prices likely reflects demand and supply issues in the shipping industry, he added

Shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk is taking the right steps to improve shareholder value, said the company's former group chief executive.

The conglomerate is currently in the midst of separating its transport and logistics businesses from its energy operations — an effort that's been many years in the making, Nils Andersen told CNBC on Friday.

Maersk share prices have been steadily sliding ever since July, but investors shouldn't take that as an indicator of global growth, Andersen warned.

"When you see short-term movements in share prices that don't correspond with trade developments, often it's a worry whether new orders for ships will be placed."

Overall, Andersen said, he was positive on the world economy. "We have reason to be reasonably optimistic about the development in global GDP. Personally, I think trade will grow in line with or maybe even a little faster than that."

Andersen left the Danish firm last year after nine years of service and is now a non-executive director at BP in addition to chairman of Dansk Supermarked Group.

Maersk's recent $4 billion acquisition of German container shipping line Hamburg Süd was a great example of restructuring efforts, Andersen said on the sidelines of the Singapore Summit, a conference of Asian business leaders.