Any privatisation of major South Korean shipowner HMM will ultimately depend on both the shipping and equity markets, the government has said.

Oceans minister Cho Seung-hwan was non-committal on timing in comments on the sell-off on Thursday.

The oceans ministry had signalled in August that a privatisation was the target for HMM.

State-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) holds the largest stake of 20.69%,