Zim has won the first initial public offering for a mainstream shipowner in more than five years in New York, although the deal fell short on pricing and shares count.

Wednesday's pricing will nonetheless be seen as a major win for Zim and the containership sector, if not necessarily a harbinger of other successful listings in 2021.

"Yes, it was below range, but Zim got the deal done on a terrible day for the broader stock markets and shipping shares, and after a number of banks downgraded shares in fellow liner operator Maersk," said one veteran of financial markets.