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Hanjin Shipping declared bankrupt Updated: 2017-02-17 18:27:41 KST


A 40-year history ended.
The Seoul Central District Court on Friday cut off the lifeline of Hanjin Shipping -- once Korea's largest shipping company and the world's seventh largest -- following a two-week appeals period.
A bankruptcy trustee will now be appointed to sell off Hanjin's remaining assets.

Earlier this month, the court decided to end the rehabilitation scheme, saying the firm's liquidation value would be worth more than its value as a going concern.
Hanjin had been under court receivership since last September, after creditors decided not to extend further financial support.
At the time, the company's debt stood at over 5 billion U.S. dollars.

Hanjin's collapse was preceded by tough industry conditions, including low freight rates due to overcapacity, and a decline in shipments from slumping global demand.

Some of Hanjin's routes will now be covered by foreign shippers, and Korean exporters may have to shoulder the cost of redirecting the shipments or finding new shippers.
Layoffs are another concern -- while the government says 2-thousand workers will lose their jobs, experts expect about 25-thousand job losses from related companies as well.

"I feel as though the government failed to recognize the importance of the shipping industry as a national industry. Rather than help it stand up again, Hanjin was forced to sell its major assets -- in essence, leaving it with no options to create profit. The collapse is expected to result in a plunge in Korea's credibility as a shipping nation."

Hyundai Merchant Marine now becomes the dominant player in the local shipping industry.
It will take on about 200 Hanjin employees and stakes in Hanjin's overseas terminals and it's aiming to grab 5 percent of the global market share by 2021.
It currently holds about 2.2 percent of all shipping routes -- falling short of Hanjin's share of about seven percent in cargo from Asia to North America.

With more industries set to go through debt workout schemes, experts say the government needs to do more in the initial stages.

"We cannot look at different sectors as one. It should depend on the industry outlook and economic principles. We have to consider both the company's financial status and industry factors -- and then decide what's needed."

Experts add that as timing is key in corporate restructuring, they say it's important that the next administration sees it as a priority.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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