shipbuilders-debt increase

SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) -- Combined debt owed by South Korea's seven largest shipyards spiked 44 percent last year as shipbuilders sought more loans from banks and debt sales to cope with falling demand, industry data showed Thursday.

According to the data, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Samsung Heavy Industries Co., and five other shipyards held a combined 21 trillion won (US$18.8 billion) in debt at the end of 2012, compared with 14.6 trillion won a year earlier.

The debt includes bank loans and proceeds from sales of corporate bonds.

Their combined debt has been on a sharp rise since 2008, reaching 12.1 trillion won in 2009 and 14.7 trillion won in 2010, although it fell slightly to 14.6 trillion won in 2011.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the country's leading shipbuilder, saw its debt soar 65.2 percent on-year to reach 6.54 trillion won at the end of last year. Samsung Heavy Industries' debt also jumped to 2.96 trillion won from 1.48 trillion won over the cited period. Daewoo Shipbuilding