Hapag-Lloyd shipping share listing delayed: source

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The public listing of shares in German shipping group Hapag-Lloyd that was to take place next month has been delayed until at least the end of May, a source close to the matter told AFP Wednesday.

The source confirmed parts of press reports earlier in the day.

Hapag-Lloyd's owners, the tourism company TUI and a consortium of investors based in Hamburg, northern Germany, said in December they would sell stock in the company this year.

The operation is set to be one of the biggest public listings on Frankfurt's stock exchange in several years with a volume of at least one billion euros ($1.4 billion).

Media reports said it was initially scheduled for April 15 but the Japanese and Libyan crises have happened in the meantime and now "the market environment is too uncertain and there is a risk of a below-par result," the source said.

The listing cannot now take place before Hapag-Lloyd's quarterly results are released in May, the source added.

Hapag-Lloyd was hit by the global economic crisis in 2009 but has bounced back as global trade picked up again last year.

TUI owns 38.4 percent of the shares in the shipping group but wants to divest that holding and focus on the tourism sector.

Other major listings planned for Frankfurt this year meanwhile involve the Berlin property group GSW and industrial supplier Norma, which are to take place in the coming months with an expected volume of 500 million euros each.

Although the German exchange got off to a good start this year, global events have tamed trading since and the Dax index has lost more than 1.60 percent since January 1.

© 2011 AFP

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