Hanjin Shipping gets $54 million loan to unload stranded cargo

Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:15am EDT
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By Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) - The largest shareholder of Hanjin Shipping Ltd 117930.KS agreed on Wednesday to lend 60 billion won ($53.96 million) to help unload cargo that has been stranded since the world's seventh-largest container carrier collapsed late last month.

Korean Air Lines (003490.KS: Quote) said it would make the previously pledged loan using Hanjin's accounts receivable as collateral, even as media reports said the South Korean court handling Hanjin's receivership doubted its ability to survive a restructuring.

The airline's loan is in addition to 40 billion won provided by the Hanjin Group's chairman, but the total is still short of the 173 billion won Hanjin estimated in a court submission this month that it needed to unload all cargo.

A rehabilitation plan for Hanjin is "realistically impossible" if top priority debt such as backlogged charter fees exceed 1 trillion won, the Seoul Central District Court said, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Korean Air Lines did not say when the funds for unloading would be disbursed. It had announced the loan earlier this month but had not been able to reach agreement on collateral.

Hanjin must submit a rehabilitation plan to the court in December.

Hanjin has begun returning chartered vessels to their owners and had been trying to secure funds to help unload ships. An estimated $14 billion of cargo was initially trapped on its ships around the world, creating havoc ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season.

Some 13 Hanjin container ships were waiting in international waters outside Busan port, according to latest Hanjin data, as South Korea's largest port struggled to accommodate vessels denied entry elsewhere and forced to sail home.   Continued...

Container vessel Hanjin Rome sits in the eastern anchorage area in Singapore September 9, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo