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Builders, shippers to refinance massive debts in April, May: data


SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- Financially troubled local construction firms and shippers are expected to refinance a large sum of debts due in April and May, data showed on Sunday, raising concerns that their already shaky financial footing could worsen.

According to the data compiled by KDB-Daewoo Securities, a total of 3.97 trillion won(US$3.74 billion) debts sold by local construction companies are due this year, around 1.18 trillion won of which are scheduled to mature in April. The data also showed that around 1 trillion won worth of debts floated by local builders are also due between February and March.

Local shipping lines, led by Hanjin Shipping Co., have to sell new debts or roll over to refinance maturing debts totaling 930 billion won this year, some 270 billion won of which are due in May.

Local builders and shippers have been facing difficulties in raising money as investors shunned debts sold by them due to their weak financial status and an industry-wide slump, stoking fear that some ailing companies may not be able to make repayments due to the sluggish market.

They are seeking to sell their assets to improve their financial status and pay back maturing debts, but doing so has not been easy during the economic slump.

A total of 41.86 trillion won worth of corporate debts are due this year, the data showed.

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