Philippines Says Won't Bar Chinese Proposals For Shipyard Takeover

All offers from potential buyers of a strategically located but debt-laden Philippine shipyard will be welcome, the trade minister said on Thursday, ruling out barring Chinese firms over national security fears, Reuters reported. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the government would not, and could not, block interested buyers of distressed shipbuilder Hanjin Philippines, which defaulted on $1.3 billion in loans, of which $900 million is owed to South Korean banks and the rest to five Philippine lenders. Hanjin, a unit of South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co Ltd, until recently employed 20,000 workers at its yard in Subic Bay, which until 1992 was home to a U.S. navy base used during World War Two and the Vietnam War. Subic is considered an important asset because of the bay’s shelter, deep water and access to the South China Sea. Read more

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