Yang Ming Marine Lines approved a plan to issue $150-180 million in convertible bonds overseas to finance the purchase of nine new container ships
. Yang Ming said
it plans to buy seven ships, each with a capacity of 1,500 teu, to ply its its Asian lines, and two 5,500-teu ships for its transoceanic routes.
"The company feels that shipbuilding costs are still at low levels and the shipping market is in an upturn, which fits with our plans to strengthen our regional and transoceanic fleets," Yang Ming's said in a statement. Yang Ming said the nine ships represented a record order for the shipper, which purchased five 5,500-teu containerships in 1998.