September 29 - Japanese shipping major Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” Line) has issued a statement that dismisses claims that it is facing bankruptcy.

In the statement "K" Line said: "It has become known to us that a certain non-vessel operating common company (NVOCC) had circulated false e-mails stating a potential bankruptcy of "K" Line to their customers. The message contained in the e-mails is unfounded without basis of any financial analysis and what is stated therein is false.

"We have strongly protested to the said company, which has admitted that the statement was false and promised to send to its customers a message to retract the statement. We are also considering taking any necessary legal measures that we may have against the concerned parties.

"Our financial condition is sound," the "K" Line statement concluded.

In its latest financial report issued last Friday, "K" Line noted: "In fiscal 2015, cargo movements were sluggish against the backdrop of the slowdown of the global economy, while tonnage supply pressure continued, causing the freight rate condition to remain at the worst level ever. Under these circumstances, although the "K" Line Group strived to improve fleet allocation and reduce operation costs, ordinary income declined."

The company wrote that: "A study on drastic structural reform has also started," and said that its heavy lift shipping business, which is conducted by SAL Heavy Lift, is "striving to improve earnings by implementing various cost-cutting measures in addition to pursuing efficient fleet allocation".

Rumours are rife in the heavy lift and multipurpose shipping sector that "K" Line is considering the sale of SAL Heavy Lift, in which it first bought a stake in 2008, before taking full control of the shipping line in 2011.