China Cosco Holdings Co. Ltd. (01919.HK, 601919.CN) plans to order dozens of new cargo ships from the first half of 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation. The state-owned shipping giant is in talks with several shipyards to build new dry-bulk carriers, which would be more fuel-efficient and environment-friendly, the sources said. The plan for new ship orders does not mean Cosco expects a turnaround in the shipping business but rather, it seeks to cut fuel and other operating costs, the sources were quoted as saying. Beijing on Monday unveiled a new subsidy program to encourage ship operators to replace older cargo vessels and tankers with new ones. The company has been racking up losses because of its huge capacity amid a business slump. It posted a deficit of 10.4 billion yuan (US$1.7 billion) in 2011, 9.56 billion yuan in 2012, and 2.03 billion in the first nine months this year, the report said.
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