Hanjin Shipping to Raise 410 Billion Won From Sale of Assets

  • Company to seek restructuring of bonds sold to individuals
  • Korea Development Bank asks for more detailed reform plan

Hanjin Shipping Co., South Korea’s biggest container carrier, plans to raise about 410 billion won ($357 million) selling assets amid a debt revamp as a prolonged industry slump and low freight rates weigh on earnings.

The company proposes to sell its stakes in its bulk-shipping and other units as well as some property and brand rights, it said in an e-mailed statement Monday. It will also seek to restructure its ship financing debt and bonds sold to individual investors.

Hanjin Shipping is the latest among South Korean liners recasting their debt after Finance Minister Yoo Il Ho called for an industry overhaul following years of weak demand that eroded cash at companies. Korea Development Bank, the main creditor of Hanjin Shipping, asked the company Monday to submit a more detailed debt revamp plan. Operators worldwide have been shrinking their workforce and considering consolidation to stem losses as slowing global trade and overcapacity squeeze transportation rates.

“Hanjin Shipping will continue aggressive restructuring efforts,” the company said in the statement. “We will cooperate closely with the creditors should they accept our application.”

Daily Limit

Hanjin Shipping will also negotiate to cut rates on vessels it leased from shipowners, the company said. Most of the vessels that have been chartered at high rates are scheduled to be returned by 2017, it said. 

This comes after Hanjin Shipping said in December 2013 that it will raise 2.5 trillion won by selling key assets as pre-emptive measures. It got about 1.9 trillion won from that plan, the company said.

Shares of Hanjin Shipping fell by their daily limit of 30 percent, the biggest decline since their trading debut in December 2009, to 1,825 won in Seoul, on volume that was 15 times the daily average in the past six months. It was the worst performer on the benchmark Kospi index Monday.

Capital Reduction

Creditors of smaller rival Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. in March agreed to extend the maturity of its debt for three months as it negotiates with bondholders and shipowners to join the banks’ restructuring efforts. Trading of the company’s shares have been halted since April 20 as they are in the process of cutting its capital by 86 percent.

Other South Korean companies including STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. also cut capital before their debt was restructured by creditors.

Separately, South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Commission will hold a briefing early Tuesday on restructuring of indebted industries such as shipping and shipbuilding.

Hanjin Shipping has been unprofitable for the last five years. Its cash on hand fell 56 percent from a year earlier to 241 billion won at the end of 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company said it has 389 billion won in bonds maturing this year. Of the 238 billion won that’s due in June, it plans to roll over 48 billion won. Its bank borrowings totaled 5.6 trillion won at the end of last year.

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