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Hyundai Heavy sells stocks for cash

Hyundai Heavy Industries is actively selling off stakes in companies to secure more cash and offset losses from poor sales and ailing offshore plant business.

Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, HHI’s affiliate, reportedly sold 1.3 million shares in steelmaker POSCO for more than 226 billion won ($189.2 million). The figure is not even half the price it purchased initially -- 730 billion won. With the sell-off, HHI has sold its entire stake in POSCO.

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, another HHI affiliate, sold all of its 872,000 shares in November.

Hyundai Heavy has recently made headlines for selling 3.16 million shares of Hyundai Motor to the automaker’s vice chairman Chung Eui-sun for nearly 500 billion won.

The sale was seen as a win-win for both Hyundai companies, as the automaker can further stabilize its managerial control and prevent any risks from being purchased by third parties.

The shipbuilder still owns 0.6 percent, or 1.23 million shares, of Hyundai Motor stocks.

Industry watchers say the total value of Hyundai Motor and POSCO stocks the shipbuilder sold in the past year amount to 1.42 trillion won.

“It’s an emergency situation for Hyundai Heavy, as it is having trouble selling off assets due to the industry slowdown. As stocks are the easiest way for liquidation, they’re just putting out the biggest fire right now,” a market watcher said.

Hyundai Heavy is expected to continue liquidating remaining stocks, amounting to more than 1 trillion won. A majority of the shipbuilder’s stocks are of pan-Hyundai companies, including Hyundai Merchant Marine and KCC Corp.

By Suk Gee-hyun (monicasuk@heraldcorp.com)
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