Hanjin Shipping Co. (117930), South Korea’s biggest sea cargo carrier, jumped the most in more than two years in Seoul trading on expectations that the stake sale of its bulk carrier unit will help ease its cash shortage.
The carrier advanced by the daily 15 percent limit, the most since August 2011, to 7,360 won. Korean Air Lines Co. (003490), the largest shareholder of the sea cargo carrier’s holding company, rose 5.9 percent to 30,300 won.
Hanjin Shipping said last week it plans to raise 1.97 trillion won ($1.9 billion) selling assets including vessels and stakes in container terminals to repay debt. South Korea’s three biggest shipping companies face a cash crunch as 3 trillion won of bonds are due for repayment in the next two years amid mounting losses from a global slump in rates to carry cargo.
“The sale erased all doubts about Hanjin Shipping’s fundraising plan,” said Yang Ji Hwan, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co. in Seoul. “It’s raised hopes that the company would be able to resolve its cash crunch.”
Hahn & Co., a South Korean private equity fund, will pay 300 billion won for a 76 percent stake Hanjin Shipping’s bulk-carrier business, the cargo carrier said yesterday. The Seoul-based liner will hold the rest.
Hanjin Shipping has about 1.56 trillion won of debt, including bonds and loans, coming due next year and 1.08 trillion won in 2015, according to the company. At the end of September, it had cash and near-cash items of 382 billion won, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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