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ST Yangtze Phoenix sheds 1,848 staff

5 March 2014
In a drastic move to save ST Yangtze Phoenix from delisting, the shipping company, under Sinotrans Yangtze Shipping Group, has laid off 1,848 staff. Compensation packages worth Rmb213m have been factored into its 2013 accounts, due to be released soon. The senior management team has been cut from nine members to seven. Provisions for write-offs have been made totalling Rmb3.86m.

Local media are full of predictions that the two subsidiaries of Sinotrans Yangtze Shipping are likely to be delisted from the domestic stock exchanges. If they are delisted, they would be among the first ever to suffer such a fate in China and would be a huge embarrassment to one of the ‘big four’ shipping lines in China, according to China Water Transport News.

ST Yangtze Phoenix, listed in Shenzhen in October 1993, is involved in shipping general cargo and containers and has reported two consecutive years of losses. ST Yangtze Oil, listed in Shanghai in June 1997, specialises in transporting and storing oil and petrochemical products and has already reported losses for three consecutive financial years.

There is also widespread fear that, like banks, these publicly listed companies may be too big to fail, as the vast number of retail investors in China may vent their unhappiness, leading to social unrest.

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