By Joanne Chiu
China's State Council approved the establishment of China Cosco Shipping Group Ltd. as the merged grouping for the nation's two biggest shipping groups.
The move comes after China in December approved the merger of China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., or Cosco Group, and China Shipping (Group) Co.. Beijing is attempting to overhaul its state-owned businesses, with the aim of creating bigger and stronger companies that can better compete abroad.
Xu Lirong, the chairman of China Shipping (Group), has been appointed chairman of China Cosco Shipping Group, according to statements posted by the two groups on their websites Monday. Mr. Xu is a shipping veteran and served in senior positions at Cosco for more than 30 years before joining China Shipping (Group) as president in 2011. He was promoted to chairman in 2013.
Cosco Group Executive Vice President Wan Min will become president of China Cosco Shipping Group.
The proposed merger, which is subject to shareholder approval, involves combining Cosco and China Shipping's listed container-shipping operations to create the world's fourth-largest container-shipping line. It also covers other overlapping business divisions that include port operations, commodities and oil shipping.
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