Carnival Corp. said Wednesday that its joint venture in China has agreed to order the first cruise ships built in China for use in the Chinese market. The agreement is an update to terms of the September 2016 agreement between Carnival and China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC) The deal is for two ships, which will be built by CSSC and Italy-based Fincantieri S.p.A. with the first expected to deliver in 2023. There's an option for four additional ships. The joint venture, announced in 2015, includes plans to launch a cruise brand in China using ships purchased from Carnival's existing fleet and then to add Chinese-built ships to accelerate growth and meet increasing demand. Carnival holds a minority interest in the venture. Carnival Corp. shares are little changed in premarket trading, and up 16.4% for the last year. The S&P 500 index is up 21.6% for the last 12 months.
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