HMM’s shares plunge 20% on North Korean links

HMM’s shares plunge 20% on North Korean links

Adding further woe to its prospects of survival, the share price in South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine plunged a record 20% today to close at KRW2,445.

HMM, which has been shedding assets of late like caterpillars do skin, has been the subject of much conjecture given its enormous debts – running in excess of $5bn, and with a debt equity ratio of more than 700%.

Today, HMM was hit by news that South Korea was withdrawing workers from from an industrial complex jointly run with the communist North, as relations between the two nations on the Korean peninsula sour.

HMM’s sister companies have strong links with North Korea, including in tourism. HMM itself is involved in a project to import Russian bituminous coal through a railway connecting North Korea and Russia.

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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