TS Lines in rush to list on Hong Kong stock exchange

Hong Kong-Taiwanese intra-Asia container line, TS Lines is set to issue an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s reputation as a premier regional maritime hub together with its lower corporate tax rates has been the deciding factor for the company choosing Hong Kong as its listing location over Taiwan, according to press reports.

TS Lines began life as a Hong Kong registered shipowner in 2001, when the company was established by the current chief executive TS Chen after he left family firm Wan Hai Lines. TS Lines gained a secondary registration in Taiwan in 2004. The operation is still headquartered in Hong Kong.

“TS Lines’ parent company is incorporated in Hong Kong, and this makes a listing in Hong Kong easier. Everything is being planned and the board is working quickly as the market dynamics in shipping can change rapidly. In a listing, timing is important and the action must be done at the right time,” Mr Chen told Fairplay.

“In recent years, the shipping market has changed intensely, with mainline operators now organised into three shipping alliances. This puts further pressure on liner operators that are not part of these groups. Our mid- to long-term strategy is to work well with the alliances as a feeder operator. It’s still not known how the alliances will pan out, so TS Lines just has to strengthen its own condition to meet new challenges,” he added.

According to Alphaliner, TS Lines’ fleet is the 20th largest globally with a capacity of 78,110 teu. The company has two 1,800 teu ships on order at Taiwan’s CSBC and two 1,100 teu vessels being constructed at Kyokuyo Dockyard in Japan.

No date has yet been announced for the mooted IPO.

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