This story appeared in the February/March 2023 issue of Forbes Asia. Subscribe to Forbes Asia

This article is part of a Forbes article on the richest people in Hong Kong in 2023.See full list here.

Hong Kong-based shipping tycoon Helmut Sohmen’s assets rose 53% to $5.5 billion amid soaring demand for maritime services provided by more than a dozen companies under the BW Group. Sanctions on oil shipments from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine have prompted buyers to scramble for alternative supplies from the Middle East and the United States. The resulting shortage of ships has increased freight rates for transporting oil and gas. Shares of Oslo-listed companies Hafnia and He BW LPG, managed by BW Group, surged 217% and He 76%, respectively, in a year as earnings surged.

In the first nine months of 2022, Hafnia’s revenue more than doubled from the previous year to $1.26 billion, leaving the tanker company profitable with a net profit of $488 million. Boasting the world’s largest liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier, BW LPG posted her double-digit net profit and revenue growth during the same period. On its earnings call, BW LPG confirmed her positive outlook for 2023. This was underpinned by strong export growth from the US and the Middle East and rising demand from China. Austrian-born Mr Somen handed over control of his BW Group to his son Andreas His Somen His Pao in 2014.

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