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HMM missed rate agreement with shipowners

Debt-plagued South Korean shipping group HMM was unable to secure a deal with shipowners at a meeting on Wednesday. The country's government warns against the receivership that is now inching uncomfortably close.

Photo: Hyundai Merchant Marine

The vital meeting on Wednesday between Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and the group of shipowners who have chartered vessels to the major South Korean shipping group finished without an agreement, and the carrier has now inched even closer to receivership.

South Korea's national news agency Yonhap News Agency reports that the two parties are still negotiating, but the meeting on Wednesday represents bad news in the efforts to rescue HMM, as a reduction of the carrier's charter rates form a decisive part in terms of the company's continued operations. But the foreign-based shipowners were allegedly not prepared to accept the significant reduction of the existing charter deals when the parties sat down on Wednesday. HMM is looking to reduce the rates by close to one third, a move that would clearly hurt the owners of the chartered vessels.

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