BlackRock in preliminary talks with Hyundai Merchant Marine for a $880 million investment

The move is aimed at boosting Hyundai Merchant Marine’s ranking in the shipping industry.

On Monday, Hyundai Merchant Marine’s spokesman disclosed that BlackRock Inc is in talks for a potential investment, the details of which are yet to be ironed out.

The Korea Economic Daily has reported citing anonymous sources from the investment banking sector and from the shipping industry, BlackRock is in talks with HMM to invest up to $880 million (1 trillion won) in Hyundai Merchant Marine, South Korea’s largest shipper.

Aspokeswoman for BlackRock could not be immediately reached for comment.

The export driven South Korea government has injected 1.5 trillion won in HMM following Hanjin Shipping applying for court receivership last year.

However, HMM, the world’s 14th largest shipper, will still need to be supported in order to survive in the industry, which could explain BlackRock’s investment in it.

Late last year, HMM had disclosed that in order for it to gain size as a company and compete with the industry’s big players, it will need 10 trillion won in funds, including 5.6 trillion won for new container ships and 3.3 trillion won to buy containers.

With the news hitting the market, HMM’s shares were up by 1.2% in morning trade, in comparision to a 0.2% fall in the wider market.

($1 = 1,137.0000 won)

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