Hanjin Shipping yet to negotiate cut in charter rates

According to sources, troubled South-Korean shipping firm Hanjin Shipping Co. is yet to successfully negotiate a cut in leasing rates with the owners of its chartered ships, which was a key precondition set by its creditors to avert court receivership.

The company was yet to receive a favourable response from the owners of charter ships as of date. However, Hanjin’s struggle for the charter rate cut is in stark contrast to its smaller local rival, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., which has reported “significant” progress in its charter rate reduction talks.

Hyundai Merchant, won approval from its bondholders for restructuring about KRW 800bn ($671m) of its debt during negotiatio

Based on information from certain sources, Hanjin Shipping faced difficulty in negotiations as it had to negotiate with a large number of shipowners.

Previously, a vessel operated by Hanjin Shipping was impounded for three days in South Africa for unpaid charter fees, raising concerns that the shipper’s financial status has dramatically worsened.

Last month, creditors of Hanjin Shipping accepted the troubled shipping giant’s debt restructuring plan, also granting a three-month suspension on all payments of principal and interest.

According to creditors, the self-restructuring plan would only be effective as long as all of the company’s lenders and shipowners chartered by Hanjin also remained committed.

Last month, the shipper’s bondholders approved some 36 billion won worth of debt recast proposal.

Separately, Hanjin Group’s, the parent company of Hanjin Shipping, chairman Cho Yang-ho agreed to give up his managerial control of the shipping unit under the self-rescue plan.

As of end-2015, the company’s total debt reached KRW 5.6tn.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

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