The German government is close to reaching a compromise over a disputed sale of a stake in a Hamburg container terminal to China’s state-owned shipping conglomerate Cosco Shipping Holdings Co.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his ministers, many of whom were opposed to the deal, may agree on a sale of a reduced 24.9 per cent stake to Cosco, a government official said, who asked not to be identified because the talks are confidential. The stake is just shy of what’s considered a blocking minority in Germany.
The proposed compromise “takes account of the justified concerns about the Cosco investment,” said Verena Hubertz, deputy chairwoman of the parliamentary group of Scholz’s Social Democrats. “This ensures that the Chinese company cannot influence HHLA’s strategic decisions.” The plan would have to be approved by Cabinet on Oct. 26 because it would mean a partial prohibition of the deal. Cosco already owns stakes in port facilities in European cities including Rotterdam and Antwerp.