Shipping boss Koo Kou-ming dies

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 March, 2010, 12:00am

Shipping magnate Koo Kou-ming - chairman of bulker and tanker operator Valles Steamship, based in the city and Vancouver - died at Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital on Saturday. He was 87.

As one of the last of generation of shipowners from Shanghai and Ningbo in Hong Kong, Koo was the eldest son of Ningbo-based C.S. Koo, who started to provide cargo liner services along the Yangtze River and the northern coast of China in 1910 but fled in 1949 as the Communists took power.

Koo Kou-ming relaunched Valles in Hong Kong in 1950 on the shipping line founded by his father.

His brother, Koo Kou-hwa, took over Tai Chong Cheang Steamship after their father died in 1972.

Valles' daily operation was handed to Koo Kou-ming's son David Koo about eight years ago.

Valles said on its website that it now operates a fleet of two Panamax bulk carriers and ten Aframax tankers. It has orders with Chinese yards for three more high-specification Aframax tankers and two modern IMO II product/chemical tankers.

Koo Kou-ming was an uncle to former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, whose mother was Koo's elder sister. She was married to Tung Chao-yung (1912-1982), founder of shipping giant Orient Overseas Container Line.

He is survived by five sons and a daughter. A funeral service will be held at the Hong Kong Funeral Home in North Point at 11am on March 24.