SEOUL, Sept. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The state-run Korea Development Bank, the main creditor of the cash-strapped Hanjin Shipping Co., is considering loaning some 50 billion won (US$45.4 million) to help the ailing shipper unload its cargo, industry sources said Thursday.
According to the sources, the KDB will finalize the loan extension this week to the country’s No. 1 shipping line, which will be used to resolve unpaid cargo unloading fees.
The move came one day after Korean Air Lines Co., the largest shareholder of Hanjin Shipping, decided to loan some 60 billion won to its embattled shipping unit.
Should the KDB proceed with its planned loan extension, Hanjin Shipping can receive a total of 160 billion won in cash, including 40 billion won from the personal account of Cho Yang-ho, chairman of Hanjin Group, the parent of Hanjin Shipping.
Hanjin Shipping was put under receivership early this month as its creditors, led by the KDB, rejected the shipper’s self-rescue plan worth some 500 billion won.
Hanjin Shipping’s receivership sent ripples through the global shipping network with more than half of its ships stranded at sea out of fears that they may be seized by creditors.
The ships were also blocked from entering ports in the United States, China, Canada and many other nations, as lashing service firms and port workers refused to work for the shipper out of concerns that they would not be paid.
Earlier, the government said Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., the country’s No. 2 shipper, plans to deploy ships on Hanjin Shipping-operated routes.
Hyundai Merchant Marine, currently under a creditor-led debt restructuring scheme, may seek to take over Hanjin Shipping’s healthy assets, such as port terminals and global business networks.