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STX Shares Jump on Speculation of China Yard Sale: Seoul Mover

STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co., a South Korean company that is rescheduling debt with creditors, jumped the most in two years in Seoul trading on speculation it may sell its entire stake in a yard in China.

STX Offshore, the world’s fourth-biggest shipbuilder, advanced 15 percent, the biggest gain since April 2011, to 3,710 won at the close in Seoul. STX Corp., the holding company of STX Group, climbed 13 percent.

The market is speculating STX Group will sell its entire stake instead of a partial sale of the shipyard, said Park Moo Hyun, an analyst at E*Trade Securities Korea in Seoul. STX’s crisis comes after last decade’s boom prompted the group to set up a $1 billion shipbuilding and offshore complex in Dalian, northeastern China, just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

“Selling all of its stake in the Dalian shipyard is good for STX Group because the bulk of debt tied to STX Offshore is from that Chinese yard,” said Park. “Severing all ties should cut off that debt for STX Group.”

STX said in an e-mail today it’s in talks to sell part of the stake and didn’t say if it may sell the entire holding.

A downturn affects STX significantly as the group builds ships as well as engines and other components that go into it. All five of the group’s listed units lost money last year. STX Offshore had its biggest loss in 2012 since 1998, when it started compiling data.

STX Engine Co., the world’s third-biggest maker of marine engines, gained 11 percent. STX Pan Ocean Co., the country’s biggest commodities shipping company, added 5 percent in Seoul.

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