Court breather for embattled shipper Hanjin
SINGAPORE’S High Court has granted a reprieve to troubled South Korean giant Hanjin, allowing its ships to sail into the city-state without fear of being impounded as it struggles to settle a US$5.37 billion debt.
Since last month, Hanjin’s vessels, sailors and cargo have been stuck in a maritime limbo as ports, wary they will not be paid for their services, refuse to let them dock and refuse to handle or free cargo already landed.
The ruling suspends “any enforcement or execution against any asset” of Hanjin and two local subsidiaries, which means that vessels can sail into Singapore without fear of being seized, pending approval of the company’s recovery plan.
“I was satisfied that the Korean rehabilitation orders should be recognised and assistance rendered,” judge Aedit Abdullah said in a ruling issued last week, adding this could be “to the extent of preventing arrest of ships of the Hanjin fleet”.
Hanjin, the world’s seventh-largest shipping firm, on August 31 sought court protection in the industry’s biggest-ever bankruptcy filing after creditors rejected its latest plan to get out of debt. –