(Nov 17): With shares of SGX-listed shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines surging again today on rumours that a formal bid from French shipping  behemoth CMA CGM was imminent, the focus has turned to why European players are so eager to grab an Asian firm like NOL and just how big a premium they might pay to boost their footprint in the region.

NOL whose stock tanked 87% from its 2007 peak to its trough in August has soared 37% over the past three months in anticipation of a distressed sale to Danish conglomerate AP Moeller-Maersk or the Paris based CMA CGM.

But low valuations are not the only thing the European buyers see in NOL.

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