TAIPEI, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Yang Ming Marine Transport, the world's ninth-largest shipping firm, said on Wednesday it will not consider the option of a merger, and that it expects the global oversupply causing a severe downturn in the shipping industry to ease in 2017.
"A merger has never been an option for Yang Ming, and it won't be," chairman Bronson Hsieh told a media event. "Over the past 10 years, the five shippers with the highest profit margins have been smaller players. Smaller companies do not necessarily have to be merged," he said.
Hsieh's comments, which were made in response to a question, come as shipping lines have embarked on mega-mergers or teamed up with rivals, in a bid to ensure survival amid the downturn.
Japan's top three shippers have announced they would merge their container shipping operations to create the world's sixth-largest fleet. (Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)