SITC International Holdings, a Chinese
shipping conglomerate, is seeking to acquire logistic firms based in
Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, according to
"We're focusing on ... those (targets) that are connected to our business," SITC CEO Yang Xianyang told Reuters in an interview.
Mr Yang declined to identify any of the targets or provide further details on the nature of their business.
The push to buy more companies comes as Beijing's "Belt and Road" initiative encourages Chinese companies to bolster the country's overseas trade and transport links, and has led to an increase in overseas acquisitions under its banner.
The global shipping industry has already seen a series of mergers and acquisitions, including the Cosco merger with China Shipping Group in February 2016 to create China Cosco Shipping Corporation.
This year, Cosco is expected to acquire Hong Kong's Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) for US$6.3 billion, a deal that would turn the mainland group into the world's third-largest container shipping line.
Having fewer shipping players is beneficial for the entire market, noted Mr Yang.
SITC, which also handles ship brokering and freight forwarding, has ordered four 1,011 TEU gearless container vessels for delivery in 2018 and two more for 2019, and has options on more new builds, Mr Yang said.
SITC's first-half profit increased 20 per cent year on year to $85.8 million.