September 18 - After ten years on the company's board, James Cooper, the current chief executive of Associated British Ports Holdings (ABP), is to step down.

The UK largest ports operator says it will commence a process to find and appoint a successor, which is expected to take place in 2018.

ABP chairman Dr Philip Nolan said: "James has overseen a transformation in the business, ensuring ABP is well placed to meet the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities presented in the future."

Cooper became chief executive and executive director of the company's board in April 2013 and was a non-executive director of the board from May 2007 to January 2013.

Cooper said: "After 10 years in the business I felt the time was right to begin discussions about my succession. I look forward to continuing to work with the great team at ABP and welcoming my successor when they are appointed next year."