In choppy waters

The shipping industry is in doldrums but is there scope to fish around?  

Illustration by Kishore Das

Once a well-established player in the shipping industry, Varun Shipping is busy restructuring its debt after defaulting. The company has not reported its financial numbers for the past one year and its stock has not relisted post-restructuring.  It is not the only one sailing through financial stress. The ‘Z’ score, an indication of the probability of a firm going bankrupt, is an alarming 0.25 for Mercator and 1.87 for Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), two of the largest listed shipping companies in India, besides GE Shipping. That’s because the shipping industry is in much dire straits today than it was post the 2008 economic crisis.