Hong Kong-based ports operator COSCO Shipping Ports (CSP) has acquired a 4.34% stake in Beibu Gulf Port for around CNY470m ($68m), through its subsidiary China Shipping Terminal Development.

The stake translates to 70,943,455 shares. With the acquisition of the stake, Cosco intends to boost the cooperation with Beibu Gulf Port, and lay a basis for it to participate in the integration of Guangxi ports.

Cosco Shipping Ports chairman and managing director Zhang Wei said: “The subscription of Beibu Gulf Port’s shares further deepened the cooperation between Cosco Shipping Ports and Beibu Gulf Port and prepared for our participation in the integration of Guangxi Ports.

“The operation and economies of scale of Beibu Gulf Port should thus be further reinforced.”

“We will continue to seek cooperation opportunities actively to further strengthen our terminal portfolio in Southwest China, and at the same time continue to extend our reach globally to build a global terminal network with controlling stake that offers linkage effects on costs, services and synergies to better serve our clients, enhance our synergies with the parent company and Ocean Alliance to create greater value and maximum returns to our shareholders.”

Cosco currently partners with Beibu Gulf Port in operating Qinzhou International Container Terminal.

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“The total throughput of Beibu Gulf Port for the nine months of last year reached 13.485 million tonnes.”

Beibu Gulf serves as the gateway of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) and is considered to be of strategic importance.

The ILSTC links the Silk Road Economic Belt in the north, and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road in the south through Guangxi and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries such as Singapore.

Trade routes of Beibu Gulf Port include major ports in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, and link over 200 ports in over 100 countries.

It has developed a sea transportation network from inland hinterland to Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.

The total throughput of Beibu Gulf Port for the nine months of last year reached 13.485 million tonnes, which is a 13.68% year-on-year increase.

Container throughput grew significantly by 30.17% year-on-year to around 2,186,300 TEUs.

As of 30 September, CSP operated and managed 282 berths at 36 ports across the world. A total of 192 were for containers, with a total annual handling capacity of 104 million TEU.