3 Korean shipping firms face cash crunch



South Korea’s three biggest shipping firms face a cash crunch as three trillion won (S$3.5 billion) of bonds are due for repayment in the next two years amid mounting losses from a global slump in rates to carry cargo.
Hanjin Shipping Co, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co and STX Pan Ocean Co are all forecast to post losses this year for a third consecutive year, further denting the combined 1.5 trillion won of cash and near cash items they had as at the end of June.
The companies need to repay 1.4 trillion won of bonds next year and 1.6 trillion won the year after.
A debt-fuelled expansion after the 2008 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc bankruptcy filing pushed the carriers into losses so deep they may need financial assistance to repay loans taken to buy new vessels, said Kim Ik Sang, a credit analyst at HI Investment & Securities Co.
Source: Maritimesun