‘I am most concerned with HMM,’ says South Korea’s finance minister

‘I am most concerned with HMM,’ says South Korea’s finance minister

South Korea’s finance minister has warned the nation’s shipping companies they need to get their acts together or else the government will be forced to intervene.

Few countries have seen more shipping lines skirt with bankruptcy in the last couple of years than South Korea. Hanjin Shipping and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) – the top lines in the country – are both going through major restructuring at the moment.

Finance minister Yoo Il-ho commented on Sunday: “We cannot help but take action if the restructuring process in shipping companies fails to go smoothly.” He added: “I am most concerned with Hyundai Merchant Marine.”
HMM, which has missed a key bond repayment 10 days ago and is weighed down by debts in the region of $5bn, is desperately trying to negotiate charter contracts downwards for its sizeable chartered-in fleet.

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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