Container-Shipping Slump Stings German Investors

BERLIN— Hanjin Shipping Co. and its customers aren’t the only victims of a global cargo rout. The damage also is washing up with German investors.

The country’s banks and retail investors have been big investors in shipping over the years and now own more of the world’s container-ship capacity than any other country—about 29%, according to the German Shipowners’ Association. The weakness in the global industry has left many of those investments underwater.

Much of the money is tied up in so-called Kommanditgesellschaft funds. Banks and asset managers in past years hawked shares in the closed-end funds to wealthy private investors such as doctors and lawyers. [read full story]

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