Istanbul, Sep 15 () - Two Chinese port companies, China Merchants and China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), and the country’s largest state fund, China Investment Corp. (CIC), have signaled their intent to buy Turkey’s largest private port, Kumport, according to sources familiar with the issue.
The majority stakes in the port, which was privatized in 2007, is owned by Fiba Holding, and the remaining 35 percent is owned by the Oman State Fund, which has the option to buy all the stakes.Chinese and Turkish parties are now waiting for approval from the Omani company, according to sources told Hürriyet daily. The Chinese consortium is reportedly ready to pay $1.5 billion, sources added.
COSCO owns a minority stake in Greece’s Piraeus Port. The company, which has over 800 ships, conducts operations to around 1,600 ports in 160 countries, according to sources. COSCO is also known as the fifth largest company in China.
The China Merchants Group, based in Hong Kong, has around $131 billion worth of assets, while CIC manages assets worth around $750 billion.
Kumport, located on the European side of Istanbul, succeeded in growing container shipping volume by 23 percent between 2007 and 2013, according to the company’s website. Handling 16 percent of the country’s total container shipping volume in 2013, the port has become the third largest port in Turkey with around 1.3 million TEU in volume.