China, Japan and Singapore are pushing for mergers in the shipbuilding industry with a business combination review going on for Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, which are the two largest shipbuilders in the world.
In China, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) approved a merger between China State Shipbuilding Company (CSSC) and China Shipbuilding Industry Company (CSIC) in November last year, which resulted in the establishment of China Shipbuilding Group (CSG). Each of CSSC and CSIC has 10 shipyards. At present, their competitiveness related to high value added ships is regarded as being lower than that of the South Korean shipbuilders.
In Japan, Imabari Shipbuilding and Japan Marine United are planning to make an announcement within this month with regard to their partnership for large container ships, large oil tankers, bulk carriers, etc. The partnership is likely to stop at joint design and marketing without reaching merger-based technology sharing. Imabari Shipbuilding is predicted to acquire less than 30 percent of Japan Marine United shares, and they are likely to set up a company to be in charge of marketing and merchant vessel design.
In Singapore, Sembcorp Marine and Keppel are aiming at a merger. Both are owned by sovereign wealth fund Temasek, and they are experiencing difficulties with the global offshore plant market deteriorating.
The review related to the two South Korean shipbuilders is picking up speed now. The Japan Fair Trade Commission recently initiated its initial review and the European Union is expected to release the result of its secondary review in June this year.