STX Pan Ocean Co. (028670), South Korea’s biggest commodities ship operator, jumped the most in five months in Seoul trading after Korea Economic Daily reported that a main creditor bank may buy the company.
Pan Ocean jumped by the daily 15 percent limit, the most since Dec. 28, to close at 3,150 won. The stock, the fifth-best performer on the Kospi index today, has fallen 33 percent this year, compared with a 0.2 percent gain for the benchmark.
Parent company STX Group is seeking to sell stakes in some businesses including Pan Ocean, amid a rate slump that has caused shipbuilding orders to fall and forced its three biggest units to seek voluntary debt rescheduling. Korea Development Bank may buy Pan Ocean after writing off the stake owned by the company’s major shareholder and getting creditors to swap debt for equity, the newspaper reported today.
“Individual investors are buying on the news,” Park Moo Hyun, an analyst at E*Trade Securities Korea in Seoul, said by telephone. “An acquisition by Korea Development Bank will mean that the group’s financial strains could be eased somewhat.”
STX Group is in talks with Korea Development Bank on selling its stake in Pan Ocean, STX said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg News queries on the newspaper report, which cited unidentified investment banking and regulatory officials. The creditor is considering various options on Pan Ocean, it said.
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