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Japan-South Korea rift

Hyundai Heavy eyes shipbuilding merger amid Japan trade row

HHIG and Daewoo Shipbuilding to seek antitrust approval for $1.5bn deal

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, is looking to acquire compatriot Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. (Source photos by Reuters)

SEOUL/TOKYO -- South Korea's two largest shipbuilders are pushing ahead with plans for a merger even as trade tensions with Japan raise concerns that politics could throw a wrench in the 1.8 trillion won ($1.5 billion) deal.

The proposed merger is also raising concern among Japanese shipbuilders of "mega shipyards" creating greater competitive pressure in an industry already facing headwinds.

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