Cambodia Welcomes 2nd Dolphin Calf in 2024HMM 2023 net sinks 90 pct on weak demand, lower freight rates

The Fisheries Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has announced the presence of another dolphin calf this year. The newborn dolphin was spotted swimming with a herd of seven other dolphins at 10:18 am on Feb. 14 at Anlong Kampi pool in Sambok village, Sambok commune, Chetr Borei district, Kratie province by the research team of the Fisheries Administration and WWF-Cambodia. This is the second dolphin calf registered in Cambodia in 2024, said the Fisheries Administration in a news release this evening. Last year, eight dolphin calves were counted, up from six each in 2022 and 2021. The Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are a living natural treasure of Cambodia and are fully protected under the Kingdom's Fisheries Law. The population is ranked as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, the highest international threat ranking for endangered species. According to WWF-Cambodia, the presence of the dolphin in the Mekong is an indication of healthy fisheries and healthy rivers, including biodiversity and natural ecosystems that provide life-support services for people. Source:Agence Kampuchea Presse SEOUL, South Korea's top container shipper HMM Co. said Wednesday its earnings tumbled in 2023 from a year earlier due to sluggish demand and lower freight rates. Net profit came to 1.01 trillion won (US$760 million) last year, down 90 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing. Sales sank 55 percent on-year to 8.4 trillion won, with operating income also plunging 94 percent to 584.9 billion won. HMM attributed the bottom-line tumble to slowing demand and decreased shipping rates on all routes. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, a barometer of global freight rates, averaged 1,006 points last year, down 71 percent from 3,410 a year earlier. HMM said its operating margin stood at 7 percent last year, with its debt-equity ratio falling to 20 percent from 25 percent. Market watchers said HMM's poor 2003 performance could cast a shadow over the sale of the shipper controlled by the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) and the Korean Ocean Business Corp. A week ago, the tw o state agencies announced the rupture of their talks with a local consortium on the sale of their 57.9 percent stake due to differences over key issues. In 2013, KDB injected 6.8 trillion won in public funds into troubled Hyundai Merchant Marine, HMM's predecessor, which went bankrupt and was placed under KDB control three years later. HMM shares ended 0.39 percent down at 17,750 won on the Seoul bourse Wednesday, outperforming the broader Korea Composite Stock Price Index's 1.1 percent decline. Source: Yonhap News Agency