Hyundai Group, the parent of Hyundai Merchant Marine, will collaborate with the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) in what has been termed a “strategic business”.
The collaboration covers specially packaged financial support and the exchange of information.
On 9 September, Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun and KEXIM chairman Lee Duk-hoon signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Seoul.
This agreement is another high point in the close working relationship that HMM and KEXIM have maintained over the years.
The two businesses have previously working together in the areas of shipping and logistics, port infrastructure, overseas investments, and co-operative projects involving South Korea and North Korea.
The Hyundai Group has ties to North Korea. Hyun’s father-in-law, the late Hyundai founder Chung Ju-yung, was a native of North Korea and the chaebol has investments there, including a resort and factories in Kaesong industrial zone.
Hyun took over Hyundai Group after her husband, Chung Mong Hun, committed suicide in 2002 after being accused of making illicit payments to North Korea.
When HMM fell into a liquidity crisis in 2013, KEXIM fine-tuned its arrangements with the company so it could release more funds swiftly.
Hyun said, “Through the MoU, Hyundai Group can secure financing to grow its business. More than mere opportunities, this agreement builds up a developmental and future-oriented working relationship between our company and KEXIM.”
The agreement will would take collaboration between HMM and its major lender to a level that goes beyond the provision of financial consulting and debt restructuring. For instance, it states that KEXIM will mobilise a taskforce whenever HMM requires emergency funding.
Lee said, “By improving competitiveness in the sphere of shipping and logistics and inter-Korea economic co-operation, Hyundai Group is contributing to expanding trade with our country and facilitating economic exchange with North Korea. To this end, KEXIM has become a reliable financial partner of HMM.”