HYUNDAI RESTRUCTURES FINANCES
Hyundai Merchant Marine, the heavily-indebted Korean shipping line, has entered into a special financial agreement with Korea Exchange Bank to resolve its shortage of liquidity, the company’s auditors said.
The Korean company has repaid 822 billion Won (about $620 million) by transferring future trade receivables and selling investments and property, plant and equipment in January and February. Hyundai has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Wilh. Wihelmsen ASA and Wallenius Lines AB to sell its car carrier business.
However, Hyundai’s auditors said that the company has offered a bank letter of guarantee issued by KorAm Bank, amounting to 19.6 million euro (about $17 million) to cover a contested fine imposed by the European Commission on Hyundai and other carriers of the Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement. All members of the Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement filed a lawsuit against the EC to appeal the fines, a case that is currently pending in the European Court of First Instance.
Hyundai Merchant Marine recently reported a net deficit of Won319.6 billion ($241 million) for the year 2001, as compared to a loss of Won310.5 billion in 2000.