HAPAG-LLOYD APPOINTS VON MAYDELL AS CHIEF OF NEW ASIA DIVISION

HAPAG-LLOYD APPOINTS VON MAYDELL AS CHIEF OF NEW ASIA DIVISION

Hapag-Lloyd AG, the West German shipping line, is stepping up its presence in Asia in response to increasingly tough competitive conditions in the Europe- Far East trades.

Olaf von Maydell, currently president of Hapag-Lloyd (America) Inc., has been appointed head of Hapag-Lloyd (Asia), a new position based in Singapore.The decision to set up a new regional division reflects the importance of the Asian market for Hapag-Lloyd, Eva Gjersvik, a company spokeswoman, said Wednesday.

The Europe-Far East trade is by far the largest for Hapag-Lloyd, accounting for revenue of more than 900 million deutsche marks in 1988, compared with earnings of under DM700 million from the North Atlantic. (About DM1.68 equal $1.)

But when Hapag-Lloyd announces its 1989 results at the end of May, the liner division is expected to show a substantial decline in profit, reflecting lower earnings from the Europe-Far East trades, even though cargo volumes remain strong.

The German company has decided to relocate Mr. von Maydell to Singapore to decentralize marketing decisions and cost responsibilities, Hapag-Lloyd said in a statement Wednesday.

Mr. von Maydell was traveling in the Far East and was unavailable for comment Wednesday. His new appointment is effective from June.

Hapag-Lloyd accounts for around 25 percent of cargo carried by the Trio consortium of European and Japanese shipping lines that trades between Europe and the Far East.

Trio is thought to carry about one-half of the trade of members of the Far Eastern Freight Conference, which in turn accounts for around one-half of the total trade.

Mr. von Maydell's task will be to increase coverage of Hapag-Lloyd's markets in Asia, Ms. Gjersvik said.

Werner Pinnow, now managing director of Unikai Hafenbetrieb GmbH in Hamburg, West Germany, will succeed Mr. von Maydell as president of Hapag- Lloyd (America) Inc.