Sri Lanka terminal key growth business for China Merchant Port Holdings

ECONOMYNEXT – The deep-water container terminal in Sri Lanka’s Colombo port has shown the fastest growth among overseas facilities of global ports operator China Merchant Port Holdings, amid a slowdown or downturn in mainland China, in the first half of this year.

Volumes at Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) grew 33% to 0.92 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) for the six months to the end of June 2016, according to China Merchant data.

The Hong Kong-listed company, which has changed its name from China Merchants Holdings International, said net profit fell 39% to US$217 million in the first half of the year despite double-digit growth in throughput at its global container handling facilities.

The company said in a statement that growth in business at emerging economies in South Asia and East Africa would support improvement in the business in the second half of the year.

Its chairman Li Xiaopeng said that from January to May 2016, despite the  slow recovery of the global economy, China’s import and export trade suffered a substantial decline, but the firm’s international port business has maintained steady growth.

“The company has been focusing on the development of overseas projects of CICT and Djibouti port, which has grown 31% and 15%, respectively, in order to maintain a strong growth momentum,” he said.

Vice Chairman Hu Jianhua said the firm will make China’s "One Belt One Road" program the core of its internationalization strategy.
“In Asia, the company intend to further participate in the Sri Lankan port development, mostly focusing on the construction of the Colombo East port district, hoping to cooperate with the existing Colombo south port in order to improve the service chain,” he said.

Hu Jianhua said container throughput in Colombo International Container Terminals Limited in Sri Lanka is expected to show a significant growth in the second half of 2016 as well in 2017.
(COLOMBO, Oct 07, 2016)

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