Cruise Operator Genting Hong Kong Plunges 56% on Fears of More Defaults

By BLOOMBERG

Troubled cruise operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd. plunged by a record 56% after shares resumed trading in Hong Kong, as the company said it was unable to guarantee that it could meet its financial obligations.

Legal proceedings involving a $88 million loan facility related to its German shipbuilding unit are still pending a German court ruling set for Jan. 17, Genting said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday. The outcome will be crucial to the company’s ability to weather its current debt crisis, it said.

The indirect wholly-owned subsidiary MV Werften filed for insolvency on Monday to a local court in Germany, as salvage talks between the local governments and the firm came to a dead end. Genting warned investors that cross defaults amounting to $2.78 billion may follow.

Genting has been embroiled in a dispute with German federal and local governments, as both parties blamed the other for MV Werften’s collapse and the potential loss of 1,900 jobs.

The cruise operator’s financial health rapidly deteriorated after the Covid-19 pandemic prompted a string of restrictions that have led to restructurings and insolvencies at travel industry companies around the world. Genting Hong Kong halted debt payments to creditors totaling $3.4 billion in August 2020 and was in default of that amount as of Dec. 31 that year. The firm, which has offered “seacations” amid a global cruise-to-nowhere trend, reported a record loss of $1.7 billion last May.

Genting Hong Kong said as of the time of its filing Thurday, it hasn’t received notice from creditors demanding repayment or commencing action against the company related to their financial arrangements. It is unclear whether any of the relevant creditors will choose to do so, it added.