Bloomberg News

India Said to Plan $557 Million Overseas Ports Company on Trade

June 23, 2011

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- India plans to set up a 25 billion- rupee ($557 million) state-owned company to invest in overseas ports and terminals to help boost international trade, two people familiar with the matter said.

Indian Ports’ Global will be established within a month, using funds collected from federal government-run ports, said the people, who declined to be identified before an official announcement. The new company will also sell bonds, they said, without specifying an amount.

The company, modeled on Singapore’s PSA International Pte and Dubai’s DP World Ltd., may help Indian shipping lines win a greater share of international trade by giving them easier access to overseas facilities, the people said. State-controlled Shipping Corp. of India, the nation’s biggest shipping line, also plans to buy as many as 110 vessels during this decade to benefit from rising global trade.

“It will no doubt help India increase its influence,” said Anand Sharma, director of Mumbai-based Mantrana Maritime Advisory Pvt., which provides consulting to shipping lines and port operators. “The world is moving toward cross-border acquisitions to ease logistics bottlenecks.”

The Ministry of Shipping’s New Delhi-based spokesman Manoj Gupta declined to comment.

India is also planning to form Maritime Finance Corp., which will sell 50 billion rupees of tax-free bonds in the year ending in March to help pay for projects in ports run by the federal government, the shipping ministry said in March.

About 90 percent of India’s international trade by volume is carried through sea, according to the ministry. Asia’s third- largest economy aims to more than double its merchandise exports in three years to March 2014 from $246 billion last year, according to the Department of Commerce.

--Editors: Vipin V. Nair, Neil Denslow

To contact the reporter on this story: Karthikeyan Sundaram in New Delhi at kmeenakshisu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow in Hong Kong at ndenslow@bloomberg.net


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