Shipping Corporation to buy oil tanker for Tk 286cr

Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) will add a new oil tanker to its fleet within two months to resume its trade on international sea routes using its own vessels after a lull of nearly two years.

The tanker with a 36,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) capacity will be the first vessel to be purchased by BSC since 1991.

The corporation will buy the tanker from China for Tk 286 crore, said BSC Managing Director M Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan at a press conference in the port city yesterday.

The oil tanker will carry crude oil, aviation fuel or any other chemical products. At present, BSC depends on chartered vessels for carrying crude oil for Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.

BSC currently operates three vessels: one is for carrying containers and the two others are lighterage tankers. The three decades old vessels cannot go to seas due to rules of the International Maritime Organisation.

The corporation once owned 38 oceangoing ships.

But it had to sell 35 of them as their operational validity expired, according to Bhuiyan.

BSC now plans to add 26 vessels to its fleet within a few years to expand its capacity, he said.

Financial agreement for purchasing six new ships each with 39,000-DWT capacity from China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation was signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Bangladesh last year.

The six vessels will be added to the fleet between May and December next year, said Bhuiyan, adding that the new vessels would generate more revenues for the listed company.

BSC made a net profit of Tk 6.72 crore in 2015-16. Its board has recommended 12 percent stock dividend for the last fiscal year. The proposal will be presented at today's annual general meeting for approval.

The government owned 52.1 percent shares of the corporation as of February 28, while institutional investors owned 23.5 percent and public 24.4 percent.

BSC's price-earning ratio, which measures a company's current share price relative to its per-share earnings, was 142.47 on March 21.

Yesterday its shares on the Dhaka Stock Exchange closed at Tk 563 each.


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