Hanjin spends millions to ease crisis
SOUTH Korea’s Hanjin Group said yesterday it would provide its debtridden shipping unit with 100 billion won (US$90.4 million) to help ease huge disruptions to global maritime freight.
Hanjin, the world’s seventh-largest shipping company, is seeking bankruptcy protection at home and in the US after creditors rejected its latest plan to deal with a $5.37 billion debt.
Its bankruptcy would be by far the largest in the history of container shipping, which is suffering from its worst downturn in six decades because of slumping global trade and a slowdown in China.
More than half of Hanjin’s fleet – 79 vessels – is either stuck in port or unable to dock, with authorities fretting the company will not be able to pay its bills.
Its parent Hanjin Group said it would spend 100 billion won, which includes a personal donation of 40 billion won from its chair and biggest shareholder Cho Yang-ho, to “normalise” operations of its container ships.
“We have reached the decision to minimise damages on export companies,” it said in a statement.
Hanjin said it would also use its other subsidiaries including flag carrier Korean Air to move cargo as concerns grow over the delayed delivery of goods ahead of Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday shopping in the United States. –