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ICTSI sees opportunities in ongoing trade war between US, China

Tuesday, 01 October 2019 | 16:00

The ongoing trade war between United States and China is opening opportunities for Razon-led port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI).

ICTSI Global Corporate Head Christian R. Gonzalez told reporters last week that while the trade war is not directly affecting the company’s operations, it is hurting overall confidence in the global economy.

“While the trade war continues, businessmen around the world are going to kind of hold off on investments and other economic activities,” he said.

With this in mind, he said ICTSI’s plan is to “expand very prudently” while continuously being “very active looking for projects.”

“When there’s little confidence in the global economy, it makes a lot of opportunities for us,” he said.

Mr. Gonzalez noted ICTSI’s portfolio is made up mostly of gateway ports that are located in countries that are outside the US-China supply chain, therefore the effect of the trade war is not felt by the company’s terminal operations.

ICTSI operates about 30 terminals across Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, 10 of which are located in the Philippines.

“In the Philippines, we’re still moving along. Still growing here. That’s the same case in most other places. Obviously our terminal in China has been impacted. Other than that, things are okay,” he said.

ICTSI’s latest international investment is its P10-billion acquisition of Brazil-based Libra Terminal Rio S.A., which paves the way for the takeover of a terminal at the Port of Rio de Janeiro.

It is also currently negotiating a contract with the Cameroonian port authority to develop, operate and maintain a multipurpose terminal at the Port of Kribi.

Locally, ICTSI submitted an P8.7-billion proposal to the government in April for the modernization, operations and maintenance of the Iloilo Port Complex and the Port of Dumangas. Mr. Gonzalez said the company is expecting feedback from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) “any day now.”

Earnings of the listed firm grew 42% to $128.5 million in the first half of the year, driven by higher throughputs recorded from its group-wide port operations. It is committing to spend $380 million for capital expenditures this year, mostly for the upgrading of its terminals in Manila, Mexico and Iraq.
Source: Business World

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