Konig and Cie GmbH and Co, a German shipping investment firm, is planning to set up a $500 million fund to invest in various ships such as dry bulk carriers, oil tankers and dredgers. The firm plans to raise the fund from both retail and institutional investors, reports Mint. HSH Nordbank AG, a German bank and one of the biggest shipping finance companies, is also planning to set up a fund to invest in maritime-related sectors. Konig and Cie has raised more than 75 funds and assets under management in excess of $5 billion.

The shipping and port sector in India requires quite a lot of investments. Several private equity funds have made investments in port companies. While there have several PE deals in the ports segment, the shipping segment has not received a lot of interest from investors. Some of the recent PE deals in ports are Warburg Pincus's investment in Gangavaram Port Ltd and 3i Group's in Krishnapatnam Port Co Ltd. But Indian shipping companies need to invest about $20 billion in five years to modernise and bring their fleets to global standards.

The new funds would like to exploit this opportunity. Tuscan Venture is another fund that is looking to invest in this sector. It is planning to raise a $250 million targeted at shipping and logistics companies.

Ports & Shipping sector attracted the least investments in first 6 months of calendar 2008, according to a report by Assocham. This is because of highly regulated and full of procedural constraints, though ports and shipping can absorb very high volume of investments, the report added.

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