AsiaFinance and Insurance

HMM claims it will fix its financial position by July

With the successful bid for the sale of Hyundai Securities, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) says it will accelerate other programs including charter renegotiations and debt restructuring, with a view to stabilising its financial position by July.

HMM said in a release today it expects to complete charter renegotiations with foreign shipowners by the end of April or early May.

In addition, HMM will convene additional bondholders’ meetings within June to restructure all of its public bonds due this and next year, and pursue a restructuring of bonds including a debt-equity swap with bondholders.

As predicted when bondholders declined to approve the requested extension of maturity at the bondholders’ meeting on March 17, HMM was not able to make timely payment of the bonds maturing on April 7.

HMM is now setting up a specific debt restructuring plan with its creditor banks after entering into a voluntary agreement. HMM is planning to hold additional bondholders meetings in June for all public bonds including the bonds maturing in April to get bondholders’ consent on the proposed debt restructuring plan. When bondholders agree to HMM’s debt restructuring plan, the overdue payment issue is expected to be resolved, the line claimed in the release.

The proceeds from selling its dry bulk dedicated business, stakes in Pusan New Port Terminal and Hyundai Securities will be used “only for fueling the normalization of the company’s business”, not for the repayment of the debts, HMM said, explaining this was because securing stable operations is “the most vital mission for the company to remain viable under the current unprecedented sluggish maritime market condition”.

To support HMM’s implementation of the plan, lead creditor Korea Development Bank sent a financial management team to the line on April 4.

An HMM official commented, “HMM humbly apologises about the current situation to all stakeholders.”


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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