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Korean lender said to seek sale of 16 ships returned by Hanjin

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Korea Development Bank, the main lender to Hanjin Shipping Co, proposes to sell as many as 16 vessels the failed container line used as collateral for loans, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

[SINGAPORE] Korea Development Bank, the main lender to Hanjin Shipping Co, proposes to sell as many as 16 vessels the failed container line used as collateral for loans, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The state-owned lender plans to pick an arranger next week to help sell the ships returned by Hanjin, which filed for bankruptcy protection late August, the person said, asking not to be identified, citing company rules. The ships are a mix of container and bulk carriers. A Korea Development Bank spokesman declined to comment.

Since the court receivership filing, Hanjin has been shrinking its operations as it returns vessels to owners on advice from the Seoul Central District Court. It is also winding down its business in Europe, and the court has invited bidders for its Asia-US marketing operations to help raise funds for the indebted firm.

Shares of Hanjin fell as much as 15 per cent to 847 won before trading at 905 won as of 11.35 am in Seoul. The stock has slumped 75 per cent this year, compared with a 2.2 per cent gain in the benchmark Kospi index.

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Last week, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co, Korea Shipping Association, Korea Line Corp and private equity firm Hahn & Co were among those that have expressed interest in buying Hanjin's Asia-US operations. The court declined to disclose the fifth bidder.

Of the 97 container vessels it operated, unloading of cargo from 89 ships has been completed as of Oct. 30, according to Hanjin's website. The company has been returning chartered vessels to owners as soon as they are unloaded.

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