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Chinese state port operator's India and Vietnam acquisitions stall

Government approvals for China Merchants Port purchases 'delayed'

China Merchants Port Holdings has been unable to complete its purchase of a stake in a new terminal at Vietnam's Cai Mep port. 

HONG KONG -- A billion-dollar deal by China Merchants Port Holdings, a state-owned enterprise that has been a leading investor in overseas ports, to acquire half of a French-owned portfolio of shipping terminals has been stalled by authorities in India and Vietnam.

China Merchants -- perhaps best known for taking over the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota on a 99-year lease under the umbrella of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative -- set up a joint venture in 2013 with French shipping company CMA CGM to share ownership, 49% to 51%, over a global portfolio of 15 terminals. Last December, the two reached a $955 million deal for their Terminal Link venture to take on an additional 10 port assets.

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