Crunch time for South Korea
The crunch is coming for South Korea's conglomerates under new government restructuring plans - with industry analysts wondering which shipping companies might be involved.
According to a SeaTrade Internet report, President Kim Dae-jung has told the five biggest groups to reduce debt levels below 200 per cent and attract foreign investors.
Under the latest plans, Korean companies are to be divided into three groups - healthy, viable and non-viable.
The industry is speculating into which category the shipping companies fit, with the knowledge that no government funds will be available to support restructuring.