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HMM to sell LNG transport business

LNG Industry,

Hyundai Merchant Marine plans to sell its liquefied natural gas (LNG) transport business to a local investment firm for US$ 1.03 billion. The sale is part of a bid by the South Korean shipper to raise funds to pay off debt.

The company is on course to post its third straight year of loss, as demand has been weak since the onset of the global economic slowdown. Selling the LNG transport unit is part of Hyundai Group's plan to raise support funds of more than US$ 3.1 billion.

IMM Investment Corp

In a statement released earlier this week, Hyundai Merchant Marine said it has chosen IMM Investment Corp as the preferred bidder for the LNG transport business, and that it plans to complete the deal in the first half of this year.

Shares of Hyundai Merchant Marine rose as much as 12% after the announcement.

South Korean LNG

The LNG unit owns 10 vessels and carries almost 20% of South Korea's annual LNG imports under long-term contracts with state-run Korea Gas Corp.

"The sale […] is our best option to restore market confidence, and we will concentrate our efforts to improve competitiveness in containers and bulk carriers going forward," Hyundai Merchant Marine said in the statement.

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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