Chinese state-owned shipper creating Asian container giant

BEIJING (AP) — Shares in both China's state-owned shipping company, COSCO, and Orient Overseas (International) Ltd. have surged after COSCO agreed to buy its smaller rival for $6.3 billion.

The merger will create a new Asian shipping giant. It is part of a wave of consolidation in global shipping that has produced a handful of huge global competitors.

By mid-afternoon Monday, COSCO's shares traded in Hong Kong had jumped 6.1 percent while Orient Overseas shares soared 20.8 percent.

COSCO, with 311 container ships, ranks among the global industry's top five competitors. Orient Overseas, controlled by the family of former Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa, is in the top 10.

The transaction is subject to antitrust review by Chinese, European and U.S. authorities.