Canadian Manufacturing

State-owned stimulus: $4.5B order for 50 supertankers

Deal adds to flurry of spending by Chinese state-owned firms.

BEIJING—A group of state-owned shipping companies in China has placed a $4.5-billion order for 50 supertankers, throwing a financial lifeline to the nation’s struggling shipbuilders.

A report from a Chinese newspaper says  this adds to the multibillion-dollar flurry of investments by state-run companies as Beijing encourages them to spend to help reverse a painful economic slump.

The 21st Century Business Herald said the tanker orders were placed by three of China’s biggest shipping companies.

It said the orders were disclosed by the president of one company and the general manager of another.

China’s shipyards have been among the hardest-hit industries in the country’s deepest economic downturn since the 2008 global crisis.

Orders have fallen by more than half and shipyards are laying off employees.

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