Bailout plan for Korean shipping firms

Seoul: In yesterday’s emergency economy meeting presided over by President Lee Myung-bak, the shipping industry emerged as the next target after the construction and shipbuilding industries, where government-supervised and creditor-led restructuring efforts have already begun, local media reported.

The government is considering debt rescheduling for the shipping industry, as the industry’s profitability deteriorates along with worldwide trade volume in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Late last year, Park Road Corp., a midsize shipping company, went bankrupt. Samsun Logix, another midsize shipping company, applied for court receivership early this month. The nation’s top four shipping firms Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Hanjin Shipping Co., STX Pan Ocean Shipping Co. and Korea Line Corp. are also seeing their net profit decline. The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and the Financial Services Commission announced they are discussing details for the industry’s eventual overhaul.

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