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BlackRock in discussions to invest in Hyundai Merchant Marine

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is in discussions to make a sizeable investment into South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM). The Korea Economic Daily reports today that BlackRock is looking at investing up to KRW1trn ($880m) into South Korea’s largest shipping line.

“We had a talk with BlackRock, but nothing was definite yet,” an HMM spokesperson told Splash today.

HMM, the world’s 14th largest containerline, went through a massive restructuring last year. It has since outlined expansion plans for which it says it will need to raise KRW10trn in funding.

HMM notched an operating loss of KRW128bn ($112m) in the second quarter through to the end of June, despite revenues jumping 22.1% to KRW1.24trn.

Separately, HMM has revealed it is trialling the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology on its reefers to better monitor freshness of temperature-sensitive products during delivery.

The trial is being carried out on 10 containers for the next couple of months.

HMM is also looking at how to adopt blockchain technology for its shipping operations. It has partnered with Samsung and IBM as well as the nation’s customs office and the ministry of oceans and fisheries to investigate the technology.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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