"NASDAQ Welcomes Kamco,” read a statement on the electronic ad board at NASDAQ’s headquarters in Times Square in New York City to congratulate the Korean company for winning the 2016 Deal of the Year Editor’s Choice Award. Kamco also won the 2011 Deal of the Year Award presented by Marine Money, a U.S. shipping finance magazine.
Marine Money held a congratulatory ceremony for award winners, including Kamco, after the closing bell at the NASDAQ headquarters. The international maritime financial journal, published in New York, is read by over 1,000 shipping financial firms around the world and the magazine selects a financial company every year for its annual award to recognize the contribution made by the financial company to the maritime shipping industry.
Marine Money noted Kamco’s contribution as extending financial support to shipping firms with poor credit ratings to help them secure financing through “ Kamco Shipping Fund.” The money helped them overcome liquidity problems and thus prevented them from selling ships below market value and paving the way for the development of the Korean economy.
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) will become the first beneficiary to a set of Korean government rescue schemes for shipping and shipbuilders to receive more than 600 billion won ($515 million) from a new shipping company created by state lenders for its expansion of terminals and fleet.
The new entity launched on Jan. 25 with initial paid-in capital of 1 trillion won in a slew of government programs to revive the struggling shipping and shipbuilding industry after the country’s largest liner, Hanjin Shipping, was placed under court receivership and shipbuilding majors ran into liquidity troubles amid depressed global demand. HMM, also under state bank management, is being groomed to take the place of Hanjin Shipping.
“We are coordinating the funding plan upon specific support request from HMM. The rest would spread out to other shippers,” a government official said on condition of anonymity. The new entity is designed to assist the strengthening of local shippers against a protracted industrial slowdown. It will act as a tonnage bank by buying vessels and assets from liquidity-short shippers at market price and lease them back. Ninty percent of the initial capital would come from state lenders Korea Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the remainder from the country’s debt clearing house Korea Asset Management Corp. (KAMCO).
The South Korean government is scrambling to save the nation’s shipping industry, which is said to be on the brink of outright failure. In particular, it plans to make a pan-governmental effort to promote Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. (HMM) as the nation’s leading container line with the global competitiveness.
According to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) on Dec. 14, Minister Kim Young-suk will host the “Policy Financing Conference on Support for the Shipping Industry” with shipping finance organizations, such as Marine Finance Center (MFC), Korea Asset Management Corporation and Korea Maritime Guarantee Insurance (KMGIC), at the Busan International Finance Center on the 15th.
The MFC consists of the Korea Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
At the meeting, participants will discuss the current situation of major financial support policies enforcement, including the “ship building support program,” the “expansion of KAMCO shipping fund” and the “revitalization of maritime guarantee insurance,” and talk on the trend and difficulties in the shipping finance market. They will seek for cooperation plans between the MOF and policy finance organizations.
At the conference, Kim plans to ask participating agencies to cooperate with the government in order to foster HMM as an ocean carrier with global competitiveness.
It has been decided that the nation’s major shipping line will join the 2M Alliance. He will also call on them to quickly launch “Korean shipping company” in a bid to improve HMM’s financial structure and secure its cost competitiveness.