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COSCO Shipping plans $2 bln share sale to build ships

SHANGHAI, Oct 30 (Reuters) - COSCO Shipping Holdings said on Monday it would raise 12.9 billion yuan ($2 billion) through a share sale to build new ships as it returned to profit for the first nine months of the year.

The Chinese shipping giant reported a profit of 2.7 billion yuan for the nine months to September, after making a loss of 9.2 billion yuan over the same period last year.

Having flagged that it would post a profit earlier this month, it also posted revenues of 67.6 billion yuan as a global recovery in freight rates gathers pace.

COSCO Shipping, which suspended trading in its mainland-listed shares last Thursday, said it would undertake a private placement to fund the building of 20 container ships, six of which will be able to carry over 21,000 twenty-foot containers. Trading in its shares will resume on Tuesday.

The container shipping industry entered a period of recovery this year after a prolonged slump, which has prompted shipping lines to contemplate new ship orders. In September, France's CMA CGM said it would order nine giant container ships from Chinese shipyards. ($1 = 6.6440 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Alexander Smith)