Under fire officials from South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine communication department have been in touch with Splash to stress that restructuring plans are gathering speed.
HMM, saddled with more than $5bn in debt, is being propped up by parent Hyundai Group, which has kicked off a firesale of non-core assets to save the group’s flagship shipping line. As well as selling some of its dry bulk business, a terminal in Busan and a sister brokerage firm, HMM senior management has written to all its existing charter parties to cut fees in order to survive. Charter cut negotiations are ongoing. Moreover, Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun put in KRW30bn of her own money into HMM last month.
Splash has learnt that creditors will now meet in the middle of this month to go over debt renegotiations. HMM has two imminent bond payments coming up in the first half of this year.
“Many institutions have predicted that the oversupply will be eased to a certain extent in 2016 as the new ship orders from global shipping companies are decreasing. HMM also holds a positive view for this year that freight rates will be improved versus last year,” an HMM official told Splash.