Alibaba courier aims high with New York IPO

October 18, 2016

Chinese logistics group ZTO Express wants to raise up to $1.3 bln through a New York flotation. Sales are soaring, thanks to the e-commerce boom. But rival couriers are also scaling up. ZTO lacks the market dominance or margins to justify an Alibaba-style premium valuation.

Container shipping deal stacks up in multiple ways

December 8, 2015

French giant CMA CGM is buying Singapore’s ailing Neptune Orient Lines for $2.4 billion plus debt. Offering majority owner Temasek and public shareholders close to book value – a 49 percent premium – looks generous. But the unlisted buyer can chart a course to value creation.

Aussie target Asciano could push for higher bid

November 10, 2015

The ports and rail group is now fielding competing, $6 bln-plus takeover proposals from Canada’s Brookfield and a break-up consortium led by local interloper Qube. The target’s board may want to see a clearer gulf in value before hitching itself to Qube’s wagon.

Japan Post pays $5.1bln for global expansion stamp

February 18, 2015

The giant postal operator has offered a 49 percent premium for Australia’s Toll Holdings, despite few obvious synergies. The acquisition delivers Japan Post an international strategy ahead of its upcoming IPO. More deals will follow as Asia’s logistics industry consolidates.

China’s e-commerce secret weapon: the delivery guy

August 11, 2014

Fast, cheap delivery has fuelled online shopping, and the growth of companies like Alibaba and Thank a plentiful workforce of low-cost couriers that U.S. rivals can only dream of. While that can last for a few more years, unhelpful demographic change is in the post.

Alibaba hints at overseas push with SingPost stake

May 29, 2014

Buying a $249 mln stake in logistics operator Singapore Post suggests the Chinese e-commerce group is planning its move overseas. But the concrete benefits are unclear – besides encouraging investors to consider the value of Alibaba’s future expansion ahead of its imminent IPO.

Hong Kong dockers’ pay sets tone for future strife

May 7, 2013

Port workers have ended a month-long strike and accepted a 9.8 pct pay rise - half their original demand. Yet the conflict highlighted Hong Kong’s growing inequality and rising living costs. As China’s economy slows and shifts, dockers and employers will be increasingly at odds.

China’s shipbuilding supertanker will turn slowly

July 5, 2013

Rongsheng, the biggest private shipbuilder, is on financial life support. An industry that once symbolised growing economic strength is now a drag. But don’t bet on a shakeout. In China, strategic sectors can stay afloat long after their apparent financial logic has run dry.

China web giants take the fight offline in 2014

December 17, 2013

Chinese tech firms are leaving their comfort zones to win consumers. TV shows, logistics and electronics are all part of the arsenal for companies like Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba. These forays are as disruptive as they are risky, particularly for the sector’s high margins.