Hyundai Merchant Marine widens loss to US$162 million, sales fall 14.6pc
KOREA's Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) posted a first quarter net loss of KRW175.8 billion (US$162.3 million), increasing the deficit from the KRW735.2 billion loss in the same quarter a year ago.
Quarterly revenue also fell 14.6 per cent year on year to KRW1.11 trillion, which was blamed on excess supply, low freight rates and high fuel costs, reported Yonhap new agency.
Despite widening losses Korea's biggest carrier confirmed an order for 20 new containerships, 12 of more than 20,000 TEU and eight 14,000-TEUers, as part of the company's plan to grow the fleet to one million TEU.
HMM said that its massive ship building programme will allow it to take advantage of increased economies of scale, as well as to meet looming environmental regulations set to come into effect in 2020.
According to a separate regulatory filing, HMM also plans to purchase the remaining stake it does not already own in a container terminal at the Port of Busan along with Singapore-based terminal operator PSA International.
MSC ends Iran service as US re-imposes punitive sanctions
MSC has become the first major container shipping line to announce plans to shelve direct services into Iran as the US gears up to re-impose sanctions, following the US decision to withdraw from the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.
A statement from MSC said: "In consideration of the impending US withdrawal from the JCPOA and corresponding re-enlargement of its sanctions programme, we regret to inform you that MSC is ceasing to provide access to services to and from Iran," London's Loadstar reported.
The company outlined a wind-down period, saying it will do its best to collaborate to conclude this period with the minimum disruption and unnecessary inconvenience.
"While MSC is not accepting bookings for shipments originating from Iran, or destined to Iran, we will continue to carry certain legally acceptable cargoes during the wind-down period, notably for importation of foodstuffs," it said.
The ability of other ocean liners to continue serving Iran is now in question after President Donald Trump announced the US would re-impose sanctions in three-to-six months.
US officials have confirmed that the sanctions regime would apply to non-US firms with operations in the country or using its banking system.
Iran's national shipping line, IRISL, was also singled out by the US and will be subject to sanctions following the 180-day wind-down period, leaving in doubt a newbuild order it placed with South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries for four 14,500 TEU containerships in late 2016.