By Alessandra Migliaccio and Tommaso Ebhardt
(Bloomberg) — Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri SpA is expected to sign a binding contract to build cruise ships for the Chinese market during a visit this week by Italian President Sergio Mattarella to the country, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Fincantieri and its local partner, China State Shipbuilding Corp., may reach an accord with Carnival Corp. and CIC Capital as part of several deals to be announced between Chinese and Italian companies during Mattarella’s visit, said the people, who did not want to be identified because the talks are private. The ships will be built in China for the Chinese market.
The Italian company and China State Shipbuilding signed a non-binding agreement with Carnival and CIC Capital Sept. 23 for the construction of the first two cruise ships, with an option for two more.
Fincantieri climbed as much as 1.5 percent to 59.2 euro cents and was trading at 59 cents at 10:27 a.m. in Milan, giving the company a market value of 998.4 million euros ($1 billion). The stock has gained 25 percent this year.
A spokesman for Fincantieri had no comment. Roger Frizzell, head of communications for Carnival, said the company had no comment “at this time” on the matter. CIC didn’t immediately reply to an e-mailed request for comment, while calls to China State Shipping weren’t immediately returned.
Fincantieri announced Monday that it reached an cooperation agreement with Ferretti Group relating to the security and defense sector as well as the recreational yachting industry.
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