The world’s biggest cruise operator Carnival Corporation is looking to raise $7 billion as its finances take a hit from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Quoting anonymous sources about talks to shore up the operator’s finances, Bloomberg said the group is working with JP Morgan on plans to improve liquidity.

The P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises parent has seen its shares plummet 70% this year and its market capitalisation slump to $9.6 billion.

At the beginning of the year Carnival shares were trading on the New York Stock Exchange at over $50. Yesterday they closed at $14.

Carnival is jointly listed on the New York and London stock exchanges. Its London share price has slumped since February although recovered slightly since a low on March 18.

Its New York share price fell 21% on Friday after the US Congress agreed its COVID-19 stimulus package of emergency loans would offer limited relief for firms not incorporated in the US.

Although based in Miami, Carnival is incorporated in Panama.

The firm has already announced it expects to post a loss this year and it needed additional financing and was looking to borrow $3 billion as part of an existing credit facility.

Bloomberg claimed Carnival is discussing issuing a mix of debt and equity with a variety of options being considered worth between $3 billion and £7 billion.

The news site reported the situation “remains fluid”.