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Seoul readies billions to aid local lines and yards

Seoul will launch a state-backed ship financing firm this month with initial capital of KRW1trn ($845m) to help the nation’s beleaguered lines and yards.

Under the plan, the new firm, likely to be called Korea Shipping Co, will be given a total of KRW6.5trn to help local shipping firms buy new vessels, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said in its policy report to acting president and prime minister Hwang Kyo-ahn.

Korean shipyards have seen their orderbooks plummet to lows not seen in a decade while many shipping lines in the nation have gone bankrupt or skirted very close to financial collapse in the past 18 months.

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.


  1. That must get awfully close to a “prohibited subsidy” under general WTO guidelines and rules, as it would appear to make ship-building in other competing countries less competitive? It will be interesting to see if any country reacts – Japan for example.

    More ships are not really very helpful right now, in most sectors.

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