Hanjin Shipping files for USA bankruptcy protection

Hanjin vessels are now carrying cargo worth 16 trillion won ($14.5 billion) belonging to some 8,300 cargo owners, the Korea International Trade Association said, adding that the carrier has unpaid bills amounting to 610 billion won.

South Korea's largest container-shipping line is seeking stay orders in 43 countries to protect its vessels from being seized due to legal actions by creditors following the court receivership filing last week that stranded cargo liners in mid- voyage and roiled companies' supply chains before the year-end shopping season.

However, the jurisdiction of the U.S. court protection does not extend to South Korea, where a Seoul court has begun its receivership for Hanjin.

The bankruptcy of the Cho family-run South Korean shipping company Hanjin has left dozens of enormous container ships stranded at sea, and merchants anxious that the goods they ordered may not reach them.

The Hanjin spokeswoman could not explain the discrepancy between its numbers, and the 79 Hanjin ships South Korea's maritime ministry said were denied port access yesterday.

And it seems it could be a while before Hanjin, and U.S companies, can complete the legal steps necessary to get those ships moving again.

Hanjin Group, the parent of Hanjin Shipping, is considering whether to provide collateral to secure the loans, said a spokesman for its flagship unit, Korean Air Lines Co 003490.KS .

At least three USA firms have also launched legal action against Hanjin to seize vessels and other assets over unpaid bills.

SEOUL, Sept 6 South Korea's Hanjin Group said on Tuesday it is planning to raise a total of 100 billion won ($90.46 million) on its own to fund unloading of cargo by Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd. She said Hanjin would release an update on the number of ships being held by creditors later Monday.

Hanjin has struggled for years as it failed to recover from the impact of the 2008 global financial crisis and was accused of paying overinflated charter fees to shipowners.

The shipping company has posted net losses every year since 2011. "But many experts' view is that the possibility is low", Yonhap quoted Yim as saying.

A growing burden from financial support for Hanjin Shipping sent down Korean Air's credit rating to BBB+ at the end of March. "We are waiting for a call", Park Kong-soon, captain of the Hanjin Atlanta, floating east of Tokyo Port, told Reuters by satellite phone. "To save Hanjin Shipping by financing 500 billion won is the fastest way to solving the current situation", claimed Kim Young-moo, vice chairman of the Korea Shipowners' Association in a joint public-private emergency meeting on the Hanjin Shipping Incident presided over by Suh Byung-soo, mayor of Busan on the day.



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