Harbor Star poised to enter Myanmar

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M/T Lucida, one of Harbor Star tugboats -- HTTP://WWW.HARBORSTAR.COM.PH

HARBOR STAR Shipping Services, Inc. (TUGS) is set to enter Myanmar, as it received approval for the creation of a subsidiary in the Southeast Asian country.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, the company said Myanmar’s Ministry of Planning and Finance approved the incorporation of subsidiary Harbor Star East Asia (Myanmar) Ltd.

“TUGS, through the said Myanmar subsidiary, intends to explore the territory by marketing its expertise in integrated maritime services… The entry of TUGS in Myanmar is in line with the Company’s international expansion plans,” the company said.

Harbor Star emphasized Myanmar’s strong economy, citing the International Monetary Fund’s 7.6% gross domestic product projection for 2018.

Last year, Harbor Star said it plans to spend about $8 million for domestic and international expansion.

It was previously talks with a port authority in Myanmar, as well as also looking at opportunities in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The company also planned a P1-billion follow-on offering last year but nothing has been finalized.

Harbor Star specializes in ocean towage and commerce, and navigation carriage of goods and passengers.

For the first nine months of 2017, Harbor Star reported a net income attributable to parent of P65.72 million, 27% lower than the same period last year.

As of end-September, the company’s total service income fell 6% to P915.6 million, on lower revenues from harbor assistance, lighterage services and towing services. However, this was partially offset by the recognition of P33.2 million in salvage income from the wreck removal works for a vessel that ran aground off the Saranggani Province.