HONG KONG, Jun 22 (FAM) – The share price of Orient Overseas (International) Ltd, parent of shipping line Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), has risen more than 9% in the last two days to a one-year high as speculation mounts that China’s state-owned shipping group Cosco is poised to take over the Hong Kong-based line.

Shares surged 7.4% on Tuesday and gained a further 1.7% today. After rising at one point yesterday to HK$56.15, they closed at HK$52.55 – almost double their level a year ago – giving the group a market capitalisation of around US$4.3 billion.

One report speculates that the takeover will be unveiled on July 1 to coincide with Xi Jinping’s first visit to Hong Kong as Chinese president. However, a spokesman for OOIL has been reported yesterday saying that “the company and OOCL is not aware of, nor is it involved in any bid relating to the company or OOCL”.