The Business Times

Maersk shares dive as China blocks EU pact

Proposed accord will restrict competition on the busiest Asia-Europe container routes: Beijing

Published Tue, Jun 17, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[HONG KONG] China blocked the formation of a global alliance by the world's three biggest shipping lines in a surprise move that ignored Western approval of the plan and sent AP Moeller-Maersk A/S shares tumbling the most in two years.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on its website that the proposed P3 vessel-pooling accord, which also included Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM SA, would "restrict competition" on the busiest Asia-Europe container routes.

"The decision does come as a surprise," Maersk chief executive officer Nils Smedegaard Andersen said in an interview after the Copenhagen-based company announced that the P3 plan would now be scrapped. "I did not foresee problems in China. We only received what I would call positive feedback."

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