SEOUL, Sept 21 The South Korean court overseeing
Hanjin Shipping's receivership said a rehabilitation
plan is "realistically impossible" if top priority debt such as
backlogged charter fees exceed 1 trillion won ($896 million),
South Korea's Yonhap newswire reported on Wednesday.
Hanjin Shipping, the world's seventh-largest container
carrier, filed for receivership late last month in a South
Korean court and must submit a rehabilitation plan in December.
With debt of about 6 trillion won ($5.33 billion) at the end
of June and the South Korean government's unwillingness to mount
a rescue, expectations are low that Hanjin Shipping will be able
Top priority debt means claims for public interests, which
are paid first to creditors and include cargo owners' damages
and unpaid charter fees, Yonhap reported citing the Seoul
Central District Court.
Backlogged charter fees that occurred after Hanjin
Shipping's court receivership began on Aug 31 have topped 40
billion won, while cargo owners' claims for damages are expected
to begin in earnest after 3-4 weeks have passed from original
delivery schedules, the report said.
Court officials were not immediately available for comment.
Hanjin has begun returning chartered ships to their owners
and is trying to secure enough funds to help unload an estimated
$14 billion in cargo initially trapped on its ships around the
The company had a total of 141 vessels, including 97
container ships as of early September. Out of the 97 container
ships, 60 were chartered and 37 owned by Hanjin.
Shares in Hanjin plunged more than 20 percent to a record
low after the report, which lent support to the view the company
will slide into liquidation.
Rival shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd
, which has been touted as a potential vehicle to buy
Hanjin assets, surged 16 percent to a near two-week high.
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Lincoln Feast)