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Dong-A Tanker seeks court protection

In the biggest Korean shipping collapse since Hanjin Shipping folded, Dong-A Tanker yesterday sought court receivership in Seoul.

Founded in 1968 with a 17-strong fleet today made up of two bulkers, four containerships, eight tankers and three car carriers, Dong-A is a well-known name on the Asian shipping scene. Its application for court receivership has caught many by surprise having been in profit in recent years.

In a note to clients, seen by Splash, Dong-A said it had to go down the bankruptcy protection route because of “strong pressure” from state-backed banks, Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Korea Export-Import Bank (KEXIM). Splash understands that it was a failure to refinance the company’s car carriers that forced it to seek court protection.

In recent weeks as the company scrambled for a non-court solution to its financial impasse, Dong-A started to circulate some of its ships for sale. Splash reported last month that the Korean line had put two 2009-built chemical tankers up for sale, the Dong-A Iris and Dong-A Calypso.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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