Sinotrans plans to list unit

Sinotrans plans to list unit

Sinotrans, China's third-largest logistics provider, plans to list a unit in Hong Kong, an executive said yesterday, in a move expected to raise $500-600 million.

Sinotrans -- a partner of DHL Worldwide and United Parcel Service in China -- aimed to raise the money via a share offering of one of its many shipping arms, the official Shanghai Securities News reported, citing company sources.

If it goes through, Sinotrans, which has listed freight forwarder Sinotrans Ltd. on the Hong Kong exchange, would join a growing list of mainland companies planning to raise more than $20 billion this year in overseas equity to meet the transportation needs of the country's manufacturing boom.

China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., (Cosco), the nation's largest carrier, may also list its shipping business overseas, according to the newspaper.

The Sinotrans unit to be floated would be an overseas arm boasting assets close to 10 billion yuan ($2 billion), about a quarter of the group's total, the newspaper said.

Sinotrans rosters an aggregate 2 million deadweight tons, the country's third-largest carrier. It also controls Shanghai-listed Sinotrans Air Transportation Development Co Ltd (Sinoair).

Hong Kong-listed Sinotrans, which owns about 70 percent of the Shanghai-listed company, operates express delivery with DHL and UPS.

Parent Sinotrans Group merged two shipping units based in Beijing and Hong Kong into the Hong Kong-based Sinotrans Shipping Ltd. in February 2003.

China Shipping Group, the country's second-largest shipper, has applied to the Hong Kong exchange to launch an initial public offering for China Shipping Development Co Ltd. that could be worth up to $2 billion.