June 7 - STX Pan Ocean, South Korea's largest commodities shipping line, is reported to have filed for court receivership after a drop in rates left it unable to pay off its debts.

The reports state that the company has advised that it has been in a liquidity crisis as it can't raise enough funds after a slump and delayed rebound in bulk shipping markets.

Trading of the company's shares has been suspended after the Korea Exchange set a deadline on June 5 for STX Pan Ocean to clarify its position on court receivership or debt rescheduling.

HLPFI understands that a decision to seek court receivership hinged on STX Pan Ocean's request for emergency funding from its largest creditor Korea Development Bank.

STX Group put its controlling stake in Pan Ocean up for sale last year amid a rate slump that has caused shipbuilding orders to fall and forced its three biggest units to seek voluntary debt rescheduling.

As of end 2012, STX Pan Ocean operated six geared heavy lift ships and two semi-submersibles and had said that it expected to increase the number of heavy lift vessels by up to ten.

The company has a contract with Geodis Wilson Italia to carry lock gates destined for the expansion of the Panama Canal from Europe to Central America.