AsiaFinance and Insurance

HMM readies bonds in urgent liquidity drive

Korean shipping lines are going all out to drive up liquidity at the moment, reshaping the cores of many famous local names.

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) said yesterday it will divest its two terminals in North America as well as its dry bulk business into Hyundai Bulk Line, a new corporate entity HMM established two weeks ago. On the back of this, HMM and Hyundai Bulk Line will issue what they describe as hybrid convertible bonds, reportedly worth up to KRW310bn ($266m).

HMM has been forced into this bond move having failed to sell its dry bulk business and its US terminals despite hawking them around for months. Parent Hyundai Group urgently needs cash having racked up significant losses of late. Last year HMM sold its LNG division.

Earlier this week fellow Korean line Hanjin Shipping announced plans to sever its non-container links in a bid to drive up liquidity. South Korea’s top containerline said it is looking at selling its 22.2% stake in H-Line Shipping, the LNG and bulker vehicle it sold off in 2014.

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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