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Friday, September 20, 2019

Korea Herald News

Photo: Busan Port Authority

Busan Port May Hit by Shipping Alliance Reshuffle

The upcoming reorganization of global shipping alliances is likely to hit Korea’s largest port in Busan and  the harbor volume of Busan Port is expected to drop by 3.5 percent from next year, the Korea Herald reported quoting Korea Maritime Institute (KMI)’s report. KMI  announced on December 22 that as a result of the analysis of the port rotation adjustment plans formulated by the soon-to-be-established shipping alliances "Ocean" and "THE Alliance," the number of shipping services using the port of Busan is likely to decline by three compared to the current figures.

Photo: Hanjin Shipping Co

Hanjin Shipping to Submit Self-Rescue Plan

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping is planning on submitting a self-rescue plan to creditors this week to stave off bankruptcy by Aug. 25, reports Korea Herald quoting local media. According to the shipper, the plan includes details on securing funds from its parent Hanjin Group and cutting charter fees from foreign vessel owners. According to Pulse, Hanjin Group is expected have stronger units like Korean Air help out their troubled affiliate Hanjin Shipping through new share purchase and negotiate for cut in charter fees to up to 28 percent to normalize the country’s largest cargo carrier.

File Image: DSME

Prosecutors Summon DSME CFO

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office summoned  the chief financial officer (CFO) of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME ) today (Friday) over his alleged involvement in the financially troubled company’s accounting fraud. As per a report in Korea Herald, the Seoul prosecutors called Kim Youl-jung, 58, for questioning on allegations that he cooked the books to cover up the company's operating losses. The special investigation team said Kim is being grilled…

Photo: Hanjin Shipping Co.

No Clues on Hanjin's Financial Health

Cash-strapped Hanjin Shipping Co. sources say that the negotiations with tonnage providers for lower rates are undergoing, but wouldn't say much else. According to Korea Herald, the country's No.1 shipping line has come under growing pressure from its creditors to secure more money to tide over a deepening cash shortage. Hanjin Shipping has proposed raising some 400 billion won ($353 million) via stocks sales to its affiliates, but creditors want the shipping firm to jack up the figure to some 700 billion won.

Photo: Hanjin Shipping

Creditors May Give Breathing Room for Hanjin Shipping

State-run Korea Development Bank and other creditors are expected to extend their conditional debt rescheduling program for Hanjin Shipping Co. to stay afloat, reports Korea Herald. This move will give the struggling shipping company enough time to cover liquidity shortage on its own. The ailing company still needs to raise about 1 trillion won ($875 million) to keep afloat. According to sources, KDB may extend the initial Aug. 4 deadline by a month  until early September. It is likely for the main creditor bank to vote for allowing more time for the shipper’s preparation…

Photo: Hanjin Shipping

Hanjin to Return 38 Vessels Next Year

Hanjin Shipping is planning to return a total of 38 chartered vessels once their contracts end as part of its restructuring efforts, reports the Korea Herald. A company official said Hanjin was planning to return 20 containerships and 18 bulk vessels by 2017, but declined to disclose details. The company was put under a creditor-led restructuring program. “We hope to save significant costs from the return. We will put our utmost efforts to stabilize the financial health at the earliest,” an official at the firm said.

File Photo: Hyundai Merchant Marine

HMM in Talks to Join 2M Alliance

Maersk and MSC have initiated meetings with Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) to discuss the South Korean carrier joining the 2M alliance, says local media reports. According to Korea Herald,  Korea’s second-largest shipping company is considering joining the 2M Alliance, a vessel-sharing agreement between Denmark’s Maersk Line and Switzerland’s Mediterranean Shipping Company - the world’s first and second largest container carriers. Amid growing speculation that HMM is set to join the alliance, a HMM official confirmed that discussions are ongoing with the alliance parties on June 23.

Photo: Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering

DSME Reveals Additional Self-Restructuring Plan

South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has  revealed an additional self-restructuring plan amid the falling shipbuilding orders. The company’s creditors, led by the state-run Korea Development Bank, will now decide on the new self-rescue plan which proposes a further cut in DSME’s workforce and wages, as well as temporary closure of docks, the Korea Herald reports citing industry sources. The company plans to separate its lucrative defense business, including special vessel, put it in its subsidiary and list it.

Pic: Hanjin Shipping

Hanjin Shipping Bondholders Okay Debt Freeze

South Korea's largest shipping line Hanjin Shipping said bondholders agreed to extend the maturity of Won35.8bn ($30.1m) in debts by four months to September 23 this year, in a major step to help the company avoid bankruptcy. According to a report in the Korea Herald, during a meeting on Thursday, bondholders gave the nod to the firm’s proposal,  marking a good start to meeting one of the conditions for its creditor-led restructuring. On May 5, creditors of the Cash-strapped Hanjin…

Photo:  Samsung Heavy Industries

Creditors Putting Pressure on Samsung Heavy

The restructuring issue of Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) will spread to the entire Samsung Group as its main creditor Korea Development Bank(KDB)  and the financial authorities are putting pressure on the group, reports Business Korea. SHI has submitted its self-rescue plan to its main creditor, the state-run KDB, the Korea Herald reports citing a company official as saying on Tuesday. The plan, aimed at restoring the company’s liquidity, reportedly includes up to 1,500 job cuts, selling of KRW 200 billion worth (USD 169 million) of real estate assets and disposing of stakes in Doosan Engine.

Photo: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI)

Massive Layoff Ahead for Hyundai Heavy

Another massive reduction in the Korean shipbuilding workforce may come as most shipyards are still struggling with falling orders and mounting losses, reports Yonhap quoting industry sources. Hyundai Heavy Industries plans for large layoffs amid a prolonged recession in the global shipbuilding sector and the government’s move to restructure the ailing industry. Over the past few weeks, the troubled world’s No. 1 shipbuilder is rumored to be planning an additional cut of 3,000 employees -- most likely from its production line -- in the form of voluntary retirement programs.

Photo: Hanjin Shipping

Hanjin Shipping May Get OK for Restructuring

South Korea’s largest container operator by capacity Hanjin Shipping's creditors are expected to approve a corporate rehabilitation program for the struggling container line, local media reports suggest. Creditor banks of cash-strapped Hanjin are likely to give the ailing container carrier a chance to avoid bankruptcy by approving a corporate rehabilitation program, reports Korea Herald. Seven lenders, led by state-run Korea Development Bank, are expected to allow the country’s No.

Photo: Samsung Heavy Industries

Samsung, Daewoo Merger on the Way?

As the Korea government is pushing for restructuring of the faltering shipbuilding industry, speculation grows over a possible merger between the country’s two major shipbuilders — Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, reports Korea Herald. South Korea's shipbuilding sector has been facing rough weather. The global economic slowdown is severely impacting the country's so-called big three in the industry: Hyundai Heavy Industries, followed by second-ranked Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries.

Pic: Hanjin Shipping

Hanjin Shipping Rely on Assets Sale

As part of its plans to ramp up debt restructuring and  struggle to stay afloat amid the tides of trouble, the Korean shipping line Hanjin Shipping is looking at selling assets, reports The Korea Herald. Hanjin is looking at offloading an office building in London as well as terminals at home and overseas to cut its debt ratio. Hanjin Shipping's, one of South Korea's largest carriers, current debt ratio is about 600 percent. Among the items being eyed for sale are an office building on London’s Pepper Street and shipping terminals…

Image: Rizhao Port

China Bars North Korean Ship

Reuters reports that China’s Ministry of Transport has blacklisted 31 North Korean vessels in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution. China has barred a North Korean freighter from one of its ports. The country will start inspecting the North Korean ships that dock at its ports for banned cargo as part of new international sanctions against Pyongyang. The move, which Beijing would start taking against the vessels as of Thursday, corresponds to its commitments under a raft of sanctions adopted against Pyongyang at the United Nations Security Council.

Sapphire Princess. Image by Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd

South Korea Okays Casinos on Cruise Ships

South Korea has given the go-ahead for cruise ships to operate onboard casinos for foreign guests, , reports the Korea Joongang Daily newspaper. South Korean cruise vessels voyaging overseas will be able to operate casinos on board – but casino admission will be only for foreign passengers from as early as next year. “The ministry is in no talks to push for admission of Koreans to [such] casinos,” said Han Dong-soo, an official at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, as quoted in comments to the Korea Herald newspaper. The ministry has been taking the lead on the casino cruises initiative.