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South Korea's Economy Grew to the Highest in Seven Years

South Korea's economy expanded at the fastest pace in almost six years last quarter as exports and household spending jumped. Gross domestic product rose 2.3 percent from the first quarter, when the nation skirted a recession by growing 0.1 percent, the Bank of Korea said last week.

South Korean consumer confidence rose to the highest in almost seven years in July as government stimulus policies and record interest-rate cuts began leading the economy toward recovery from the global recession. The sentiment index rose to 109 from 106 in June, the Bank of Korea said in Seoul today. That's the highest level since the third quarter of 2002, when the bank published its confidence survey on a quarterly basis. A score of more than 100 indicates optimists outnumber pessimists. The Kospi stock index has climbed 34 percent this year. Sales at the nation's major department stores rose for a fourth month in June as consumers bought more home appliances. The government has pledged about 67 trillion won ($52 billion) in stimulus measures, including a 17.2 trillion won package of cash handouts, cheap loans, labor-market aid and infrastructure spending. The central bank pared the benchmark interest rate by 3.25 percentage points between October and February, the most aggressive easing in a decade. The consumer confidence index is based on a survey of 2,200 households in 56 major cities, conducted by mail and telephone between July 13 and July 20.

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South Korea's Go-Green Initiatives Might Improve Employment & Growth

As Asia's third-largest crude oil importer, South Korea announced its plans to invest 107 trillion won ($84 billion) in the next five years to help reduce dependency on fossil fuels and simultaneously spur economic growth.

Figures show that up to 1.8 million jobs may be created with the development of solar power. It is estimated that by 2010, the country will spend about 2 percent of its GDP annually to "reduce carbon emissions and diversify its exports," said Youk Hyun Soo, an official on the presidential committee for renewable energy. "South Korea is joining the U.S. and China in increasing public spending on the industry to achieve economic growth and energy-saving at the same time," said Hwang Chang Joong, the head of investment strategy at Woori Investment Securities Co. The government spending will include investments in luminescent diodes, used to make energy-saving flat-screen panels and lighting bulbs and solar-powered batteries, according to today's statement.

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Improved Outlook in Korean Shares

Stocks have the possibility of benefiting after the won's 18 percent fall against the dollar the past year, which made the currency more appealing, according to Credit Suisse. It is predicted that the South Korean currency will strengthen up to 15 percent over the next year.

Stocks have the possibility of benefiting after the won's 18 percent fall against the dollar the past year, which made the currency more appealing, according to Credit Suisse. It is predicted that the South Korean currency will strengthen up to 15 percent over the next year. Furthermore, Credit Suisse anticipates an increase in sells this year due to the "strong bounce" and greater political uncertainty. This would be a great opportunity for investors to accrue Korean shares of Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Display Co., since those exports have a "high operating leverage" in developed economies, such as the U.S and Europe. According to Credit Suisse, Samsung, Asia's largest maker of chips, flat screens and mobile phones, has a positive likelihood for better earnings. KB Financial Group Inc, Hyundai Mobis Co., Lotte Shopping Co. and Posco are a few of the brokerage's top selections.

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South korea has $19 billion plan to boost the economy

The government's plans are intended to make more effective a sector that has suffered from poor investment and sclerotic restrictions. In particular the government will revise current laws in order to help expand markets and grow domestic enterprises, while also focusing on raising their global competitiveness by developing core technologies and achieving international standards.

South Korea's government announces a plan that will benefit over 17 industries that belong of three categories: high value services,green technologies and converged industries. The high value services is health care, education and tourism. The second, converges industries such as broadcasting and communications, food production and pharmaceuticals. Green technologies segment involves a plan to create a environment friendly cities. The first quarter of 2009 the Korean economy rose 0.1 percent and GDP growth was positive. As a result of government fiscal stimulus measures, which grew consumer's confidence and stimulated domestic demand.

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South korea offers help to Algeria to diversify its economy

South Korea is offering a important partnership to Algeria, which is going to boost growth. The two countries are going to be partners toward a mutual benefits of technology transfers in fields that South Korea has managed.

South Korea is offering a important partnership to Algeria, which is going to boost growth. The two countries are going to be partners toward a mutual benefits of technology transfers in fields that South Korea has managed. South Korean vice minster of economy, Kim young Hak leaded a group of 70 businessmen visiting Algeria to create plans for cooperation. Algerian minister of industry and investment promotion, Hamid Temmar, who represented the African country said " The two countries can head towards a technological partnership notably in the sectors of electronics, mechanical engineering and petrochemicals". South Korea began to build factories in Algeria since 2008, with a private company Cevital and Samsung started to build firms in Selif (185 miles east of Algiers). At the same year, the south korean consortium Hyndai engineering and construction signed a contract to rebuild a refinery at Arzew , and Naftec, a subsidiary of the Algerian oil group Sonatrach near the western city of Oran.

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Korea Prices $3 Billion Global Bond

South Korea discovered yesterday that giving a little can elicit unexpected rewards. By conceding on pricing, it managed to raise one-and-half times more cash than it initially intended. Korea raised $3 billion with an issue of senior, fixed-rate, SEC-registered, dual-tranche global notes, priced bang in the middle of the early price guidance. The issue was split equally, with $1.5 billion each for the five- and 10-year tranches. The republic had originally planned for a $2 billion issue, so it must have been pleasantly surprised.

South Korea discovered yesterday that giving a little can elicit unexpected rewards. By conceding on pricing, it managed to raise one-and-half times more cash than it initially intended. Korea raised $3 billion with an issue of senior, fixed-rate, SEC-registered, dual-tranche global notes, priced bang in the middle of the early price guidance. The issue was split equally, with $1.5 billion each for the five- and 10-year tranches. The republic had originally planned for a $2 billion issue, so it must have been pleasantly surprised.

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Bank of Korea May Keep Interest Rate Unchanged at Record-Low 2%

The Bank of Korea may keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a second month as Governor Lee Seong Tae seeks signs that record-low borrowing costs and government stimulus are reviving the contracting economy. The central bank will leave the seven-day repurchase rate at 2 percent in Seoul today, according to nine of 11 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Two expect a quarter-point cut.

The Bank of Korea may keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a second month as Governor Lee Seong Tae seeks signs that record-low borrowing costs and government stimulus are reviving the contracting economy. The central bank will leave the seven-day repurchase rate at 2 percent in Seoul today, according to nine of 11 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Two expect a quarter-point cut.

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Korea Gas Sales Plunge as Power Demand Falls

Korea Gas Corp., currently the largest buyer of LNG in the world, has announced that domestic sales plunged 23% in February from a year earlier

Korea Gas Corp., currently the largest buyer of LNG in the world, has announced that domestic sales plunged 23% in February from a year earlier. Sales were down for the fifth month in February, declining to 2.48 million metric tons. The fall was largely attributed to power plants switching to cheaper oil. The cost of importing oil fell 48% last month from a year earlier, meanwhile, gas shipment costs rose 23%. Moreover, households and businesses used less gas these last months as the winter proved to be milder than usual. As a result consumption for gas fell 16%.

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South Korea:Trading Firms Focus on Natural Resources

South Korean firms are aiming to develop natural resources in an effort to generate new forms of revenue as the financial slowdown has posed many limitations to normal growth.

South Korean firms are aiming to develop natural resources in an effort to generate new forms of revenue as the financial slowdown has posed many limitations to normal growth. Korean LG corp., has set up a joint venture with a Canadian and a Japanese firm to develop a coal mine in Canada. The joint venture is worth around $11 million and will include access to the mine's 59 million tons of inferred coal resources. The amount would be equivalent to 90% of Korea's total coal imports last year. LG has also started mining for coal in Australia, Russia and Indonesia. The company has also focused on oil production in Oman and Kazakhstan. Another Korean firm, Daewoo International, has been exploring uranium, nickel and copper in Australia, Madagascar and Bolivia. Other Korean companies scrambling for natural resources abroad include; Samsung, SK Group, and SK Networks.

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Korea Signs Infrastructure for Minerals Deal with Congo

South Korea's Water Resources Corp. has signed an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo, under which the company will provide assistance for the DRC's water supply system and damn managements, in exchange for the African country's minerals.

South Korea's Water Resources Corp. has signed an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo, under which the company will provide assistance for the DRC's water supply system and damn managements, in exchange for the African country's minerals. Together with Korea Resources Corp, both companies signed an agreement for two ventures with the DRC's largest mining company, George Forest International Africa, and Alfonso Rowemberg Korea, an investment firm based in Seoul. Korea Water will be part of a $750 million project aimed at developing better water systems in the DRC. The Korean company will also invest on infrastructure projects , dam building and the construction of a cobalt processing factory and a cement factory in the DRC. The deal will allow Korea to secure 430,000 tons of copper, 21,500 tons of cobalt and 2,000 tons of uranium annually.

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Korea: Trade Surplus with H.K. Surges

South Korea has enjoyed its largest trade surplus with Honk Kong last year, as its exports to China slumped due to the global financial crisis.

South Korea has enjoyed its largest trade surplus with Honk Kong last year, as its exports to China slumped due to the global financial crisis. In fact, Korea's trade with Hong Kong surpassed its trade with China, South Korea's number one trader since 2002. South Korea's trade surplus with Hong Kong reached $17.55 billion last years, compared to a surplus of $14.46 billion with China. South Korea's exports however, have experienced a sharp fall, with a 17.1% year on year decline last month. The country also has seen its trade deficit with Japan and oil rich countries, such as Saudi Arabia and UAE, rise dramatically.

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Korea Seals FTA Deal with ASEAN in Goods, Services

Korea and ASEAN have signed a deal for services and manufactured goods in their Free Trade Agreement.

Korea and ASEAN have signed a deal for services and manufactured goods in their Free Trade Agreement. The agreement had been the subject of negotiations since 2004, and had been delayed several times due to a disagreement between South Korea and Thailand. Thailand, the world's largest producer of rice, rejected Korea's insistence on excluding rice from the deal. Thailand's recent decision to join the agreement has made it possible for the conclusion of the FTA including goods and services between Korea and all 10 ASEAN members. A free trade deal on goods between South Korea and nine other ASEAN members had been signed in 2007, allowing 97% of Korean goods sold in ASEAN countries to be free of tariffs by 2010. As a result Korean exports to ASEAN countries jumped 24.9% in one year. ASEAN- Korea bilateral trade volume reached $10.1 billion in 2008. The inclusion of Thailand to the deal, as well as services, will dramatically expand trade between the two regions.

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Seoul to Pour W1tr into Infrastructure

South Korea unveiled a plan to invest 1 trillion won into private infrastructure projects.

South Korea unveiled a plan to invest 1 trillion won into private infrastructure projects. The investment will be an effort to stimulate the economy and create jobs in light of the country's slumping economy. Additionally, the government plans to cover 60-80% of the growth in financing costs as major projects are impacted by the current credit crunch. The government hopes that the investment in the private sector will bring greater stimulus to the economy.

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Seoul Looks to Continental Shelf for Oil

South Korea's government will seek to secure natural gas reserves and crude oil on the Korean continental shelf over the next 10 years.

South Korea's government will seek to secure natural gas reserves and crude oil on the Korean continental shelf over the next 10 years. The government will conduct drilling in over 20 different locations across Korea's shores, in an effort to find underwater energy resources. The government expects to secure at least 100 million barrels of oil through the process. South Korea currently imports about 800 million barrels of oil and 27 million tons of gas annually. South Korea will also seek to cooperate with Japan and China to explore oil and gas fields in the region. The country will also develop renewable energy in an effort to lesson oil dependency.

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Seoul, Baghdad Agree on Oil Deal

South Korea and Iraq have signed a $3.55 billion memorandum of understanding regarding the development of oil fields in Iraq's Basra region.

South Korea and Iraq have signed a $3.55 billion memorandum of understanding regarding the development of oil fields in Iraq's Basra region. The deal will allow Korea to explore oil reserves in the area, while also investing in Iraq's infrastructure. Iraq is intensely looking for foreign investors to invest on its oil resources, as it has the potential to revive the country's economy after years of war and invasion. This will be South Korea's first oil investment in the Middle East. South Korea also signed a $31 million deal with Iraq under which Korea's Incheon Airport Corporation will provide airport operating systems to Iraq.

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South Korea's Food Ministry to Boost Exports

South Korea's Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has announced plans to boost the country's agricultural exports in light of the current economical slowdown.

South Korea's Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has announced plans to boost the country's agricultural exports in light of the current economical slowdown. Agricultural exports in January amounted to $320 million, 6% less than the same period last year. The Ministry seeks to expand annual imports this year by 20% to $5.3 billion. The government plans to create a task force at the Agro-Fisheries Trade Corp. aimed at boosting preparation convenience and promoting Korean foods internationally. Moreover, the farming sector is due to receive a lot of attention as the government seeks to raise competitiveness and diversity. The Lee Myung-bak administration sees "the agriculture sector as one of the nation's potential new economic growth engines".

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S. Korea, EU to Delay Final FTA Talk

South Korea and the European union announced plans to delay talks on a potential Free Trade Agreement scheduled for early March by three weeks.

South Korea and the European union announced plans to delay talks on a potential Free Trade Agreement scheduled for early March by three weeks. Both sides have made significant progress in key issues such as non-trade barriers, automobiles and trade concessions, but some issues still need to be resolved before finalizing the agreement. Despite the delays, both sides expect to finalize the deal by the end of next month. South Korea has also announced that it is holding talks regarding FTAs with Australia, New Zealand and Peru, expected to be concluded by the first half of the year. Moreover, the country plans to begin FTA negotiations with Colombia and Turkey once the Korea-EU FTA has been finalized. South Korean officials have stated that the new agreements are part of the nation's efforts to stimulate the economy and achieve long-term sustainable growth. Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon stated that, "Trade is not part of the problem; trade should be part of the solution."

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S. Korea to Import Russian Natural Gas

South Korea aims plans to bring around 1.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually from Russia starting in April.

South Korea aims plans to bring 1.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually from Russia starting in April. The deal, which is expected to last for 20 years, would ensure the country's supply of energy and lessen South Korea's dependence on gas from Southeast Asian countries and the Middle East. The deal would also allow for transportation cost reductions as it only takes 3 days for a gas tanker to reach S. Korea from Russia, compared to a week from South Asia and 15 days from the Middle East. The volume of the imported gas is expected to be increase to 7.5 million tons starting in 2017. South Korea and Russia also plan to build a pipeline connecting the two countries, further increasing import volume in the future.

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South Korea Turns Down GM Daewoo Aid Request

The South Korean government has rejected GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co.'s request for financial aid.

The South Korean government has rejected GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co.'s request for financial aid. GM Daewoo has reported that although it is not currently facing liquidity problems, it will need financial support in the long term due to the deteriorating business conditions in light of the global financial crisis. Last month, the company's total sales already fell 51% year-to-year. The South Korean government hast stated that "it is against the laws to financially support a company or an industry in principle". The government's decision also applies to other carmakers such as Hyundai Motor, Kia Motor and Ssangyong Motor, all of which are also experiencing a rapid decline on sales.

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'S. Korea Faces Growing Risk of Recession'

South Korea might be heading towards a recession as exports, production and domestic demand continue to slump amid the global economic downturn.

South Korea might be heading towards a recession as exports, production and domestic demand continue to slump amid the global economic downturn. The country's finance ministry has called for more governmental efforts aimed at protecting jobs and stimulating the economy. Exports in January suffered a 32.8% fall from a year earlier. Consumer good sales plunged 7% in December compared to the previous year. Automobile sales declined by 23.8% and about 12,000 jobs were cut in December. Indicators point out that the world's fourth largest economy is very likely to reach its first recession in more than a decade, if measures are not taken soon.

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Korea to Take Over $2 Bil. Oil Company

The Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) is expected to take over a $2 Billion foreign-based oil company as it continues to pursue its expansion plans.

The Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) is expected to take over a $2 Billion foreign-based oil company as it continues to pursue its expansion plans. KNOC aims to produce 300,000 barrels of oil a day by 2012. The total cost for the expansion plan is estimated to reach $13.8 billion, of which some will be financed by the company's internal funds and the remaining by loans and governmental support. The company plans to purchase further stakes in foreign oil companies during the next couple of months. Last month KNOC was reported to have acquired Peru's Petro-Tech Peruana, although the company has not yet confirmed it. The expansion plan is estimated to catapult the asset size of KNOC from 9.4 billion won to 30 billion won through the purchases of further foreign oil fields.

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IMF Forecasts Minus 4% Growth for Korea

The IMF estimates growth rate for South Korea's economy to reach negative 4% in 2009.

The IMF estimates growth rate for South Korea's economy to reach negative 4% in 2009. This is a much graver figure than the previously estimated 2% growth in November. The IMF expects the economy to contract during the first three quarters, with the second quarter suffering the most and contracting by 5.9%. Recovery will be only reached in the fourth quarter but is expected to be minimal, with an estimated growth of 0.9%. The contraction is mainly due to Korea's dependency on slowing exports and weakening domestic demand. However, the country is expected to recover in 2010.

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South Korea's Hyundai to Build Wind Power Facility

The South Korean Hyndai, the largest shipbuilder in the world, plans to build the country's largest plant for wind-power generators.

The South Korean Hyndai, the largest shipbuilder in the world, plans to build the country's largest plant for wind-power generators.The plant is expected to be concluded by September and manufacture 1.65 megawatt generators by October. Hyundai will invest over $76 million to build the 132,000 square-meter plant. The new plant will have an annual capacity of 600 megawatt, enough to power 200,000 households. By 2013 the company hopes to boost capacity to 800 megawatts. Hyndai expects to generate around 1.6 trillion won in revenue from the generators made at the new plant. The company also plans to to construct a solar-cell producing plant, as it expects the sales of solar cells to reach 1 trillion won by 2010.

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South Korea's Per Capita Income Falls Below $20,000

Due mostly to the falling won against the dollar, South Korea's per capita income dropped below the $20,000 mark.

Due mostly to the falling won against the dollar, South Korea's per capita income dropped below the $20,000 mark. In 2008, the per capita income most likely fell to around $18,000. South Korea experienced a 5.6% economic contraction in the fourth quarter of 2008 as compared to 2007. The decline was the most drastic since 1997 when South Korea experienced a financial crisis due to falling exports and continued sluggish domestic demand for goods.

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South Korea's KT&G; Enjoys 48% Rise in Operating Profit

Almost all of Seoul's companies struggled to break even in 2008, though KT&G;, the country's leading tobacco company, reported a 48% rise in operating profit.

Almost all of Seoul's companies struggled to break even in 2008, though KT&G;, the country's leading tobacco company, reported a 48% rise in operating profit. The company reported a 17.4% year-on-year increase in the final quarter of 2008 due mainly to an increase in exports. KT&G;accounts for about two thirds of the local market and expects to continue operating profitably in 2009.

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Layoffs Exceed New Employees in South Korea

In December of 2008, South Korean companies laid off more workers than they hired.

In December of 2008, South Korean companies laid off more workers than they hired. This was the first time in five years that layoffs exceeded new employees in the country. South Korea is currently the world's 13th largest economy. Though the country generated 315,000 jobs in June of last year, the number fell below 100,000 in October and November.

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Koreans Buy More U.S. Property as Prices Plummet

With prices of United States property plummeting, the amount of Koreans who bought U.S. real estate in July increased 42%.

With prices of United States property plummeting, the amount of Koreans who bought U.S. real estate in July increased 42%. In the same month, the number of Koreans who bought real estate in Southeast Asia dropped over 60%.

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Land Leased in Africa to Secure Crops for South Korea

In an effort to secure food supplies, South Korea has acquired 1.3m hectares of farmland in Madagascar for the next 99 years in order to grow food crops for Seoul.

in an effort to secure food supplies, South Korea has acquired 1.3m hectares of farmland in Madagascar for the next 99 years in order to grow food crops for Seoul. South Korea plans to harvest maize and palm oil in the African land and ship it back to Seoul. The land represents about half of Madagascar's arable land.

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South Korea Plan Aims to Create 50,000 Jobs

South Korea plans to create 50,000 jobs by the end of next year by investing $3.6billion on infrastructure

South Korea plans to create 50,000 jobs by the end of next year by investing $3.6billion on infrastructure. This is Japan's second fiscal stimulus in two weeks, and it is aimed at decreasing unemployment as the country faces its lowest employment growth in three years.

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Bank of Korea Cuts Rate, Hints at Further Reduction

South Korea's central bank, BOK, cut its key interest rate by 0.25% in an effort to avert a steep economic slowdown.

South Korea's central bank, BOK, cut its key interest rate by 0.25% in an effort to avert a steep economic slowdown. Currently, South Korea is suffering from decreased economic growth due to lower domestic demand and exports. The bank hopes that this cut will lower market interest rates and help ease rate burden on corporations and households.

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South Korea To Pump Extra $11bn Into Economy

South Korea plans to release an extra $11 billion into its economy next year in order to stimulate production and growth.

South Korea plans to release an extra $11 billion into its economy next year in order to stimulate production and growth. This is an effort to cope with the impact of the global economic crisis, which is beginning to affect the country's exports.

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Bank of Korea Starts Releasing Cash into the Market

In hopes of lowering mortgage interest rates, the Bank of Korea (BOK) has released cash into the market.

In hopes of lowering mortgage interest rates, the Bank of Korea (BOK) has released cash into the market. The government is planning on asking the BOK for an input of emergency liquidity.

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IMF-World Bank Meeting Calls for Coordinated Action

Global financial leaders from International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings held in Washington have called for coordinated action to deal with the current financial crisis.

Global financial leaders from International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings held in Washington have called for coordinated action to deal with the current financial crisis. South Korea's Finance Minister Kang Man-soo pushed for an increase in cooperation among countries to cope with the financial crisis.

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South Korea's 2009 Budget Increases 7.6 Percent

South Korea has drafted a tentative 2009 budget of W209 trillion, up from W195 trillion in 2008.

South Korea has drafted a tentative 2009 budget of W209 trillion, up from W195 trillion in 2008. The projected national debt will increase to W320 trillion next year. The budget for fostering venture firms and research and development of climate change technologies will increase by 11%.

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Korea Exchange Bank to Sell Hynix

Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) is looking to sell Hynix.

Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) is looking to sell Hynix. Nine institutions currently have a stake in Hynix. The leading shareholders are KEB, which holds 22.3%, Korea Development bank which holds 17.3%, and Shinhan Bank which holds 16.9%. Hynix suffered a liquidity crisis in December 2000.

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Rumors of September Crisis Rattle Markets in South Korea

Although financial experts have dispelled the idea of a September crisis, rumors of such a crisis have impacted South Korea's financial markets.

Although financial experts have dispelled the idea of a September crisis, rumors of such a crisis have impacted South Korea's financial markets. This week, the Korean stock market fell more than 4%, and the Korean currency was weaker than its been in almost four years.

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South Korea ‘Already a Net Debtor Nation’

After being a net creditor since 2000, South Korea is estimated to have become a net debtor this month.

After being a net creditor since 2000, South Korea is estimated to have become a net debtor this month. At the end of June, the country's net credit stood at less than $5.8 billion. By the end of July, it dropped to nearly zero. South Korea now faces the danger of many foreign investors cashing out.

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No Corporate Tax Cuts Yet in South Korea

Though planning to lower corporate taxes for business this year, the government and the Grand National Party (GNP) have decided to postpone any lowering of corporate taxes until next year.

Though planning to lower corporate taxes for business this year, the government and the Grand National Party (GNP) have decided to postpone any lowering of corporate taxes until next year. Fiscal revenues are needed to relieve the economic strain on Korean households. Because of the postponement, W8.4 trillion is expected to be generated.

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Toyota plans to limit price hikes to hybrids

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to limit planned price hikes in September to two gasoline-electric hybrid models out of concern of further dampening consumer sentiment.

Toyota plans to increase prices for the Prius hybrid passenger car and the hybrid model of the Harrier sport utility vehicle by tens of thousands of yen per unit, the sources said. The move by Toyota is likely to affect other automakers, including Nissan Motor Co., which are also exploring the possibility of increasing prices. Toyota is also considering increasing the prices of its commercial vehicles, including trucks. Other domestic makers have already announced that they will raise truck prices.

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Dr. Cho Hwan-Eik Sworn in as New KOTRA President

Dr. Cho Hwan-Eik, former president of Korea Export Insurance Corporation, was sworn in as the 16th president of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) at its international conference hall on the afternoon of July 22.

President Cho has pledged to develop KOTRA into the "hub" of Korea's trade promotion effort in accordance with the ever-changing global trade environment. His goal is to provide a comprehensive consulting service in diverse areas ranging from products to finance, culture, and technology. He also expressed the importance of the need to expand recruitment of experts on resource-abundant regions and emerging economies in the developing world and diversity functions of KOTRA's overseas trade centers.

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Seoul Stocks Fall Again on US Credit Crisis

Seoul stock exchanges plunged Tuesday, following an overnight fall on Wall Street.

Seoul stocks takes a nose dive as the main index KOSPI closed at 1,541.41, falling 26.3 points, or 1.68 percent, from the previous day. Shipbuilding, steel, and machinery, which helped the KOSPI break 2,000 last year, also lost steam due to the poor Chinese market despite the opening of the Olympics.

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South Korea Income Tax to Be Cut 2% Points

To make up for revenue shortfall, the South Korean government will broaden the tax base and reduce tax deductions for workers, Income Tax rates for salaried workers and the self-employed could be cut two percentage points in July next year.

To make up for revenue shortfall, the South Korean government will broaden the tax base and reduce tax deductions for workers, Income Tax rates for salaried workers and the self-employed could be cut two percentage points in July next year. In additional,for example, a household headed by a salaried employee earning 60 million won per year will be subject to 700,000 won less in income tax.

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China Largest Trade Partner for South Korea

China has been the largest trade partner for South Korea since 2002, Economists expect the trend to continue and grow.

China has been the largest trade partner for South Korea since 2002, Economists expect the trend to continue and grow. Surveyed from 1,000 Korean citizens showed that 50.2 percent of respondents picked China as the country that will exert the biggest impact on the country. Because of the positive projection of the impact of the ongoing Beijing Olympics, and the double-digit economic growth China has achieved over the past decade, China will have the most significant influence on its politics and economy in the next two decades.

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Gas Prices Give South Korean Small Cars Wider Lane

Mini cars in South Korea are showing sales growth during the economic downturn and high oil prices.

The car makers are planning to further stretch the capacity to 250,000 by early next year.According to data from the Korea Energy Management, small cars log more miles on the same amount of fuel. Hyundai posted sales of 4,615 units last month, up 28 percent from the same period last year. The Verna also showed sales growth of 10 percent. GM Daewoo (Gentra model)have soared virtually fivefold to 5,748 this year.

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South Korea Producer Prices Gain Hit 10-Year High

Producer Prices continued rising from 6 percent in March, to 7.6 percent in April, and end up 9 percent in May.The central bank increased its base rate by 25 basis points to 5.25 percent to keep high inflation on track.

According to The Bank of Korea (BOK), wholesale prices rose to 12.5 percent in the past 2 months, compared with 10.5 percent a month ago. Manufactured goods prices grew 17.9 percent last month from a year before,and electricity and water prices grew 4.6 percent. Also, vegetable and fruit prices grew 1 percent year-on-year.

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High Inflation in South Korea Leads to Slow Job Growth

Inflation in South Korean economy is slowing jobs creation

According to the National Statistical Office (NSO, South Korea, which has the world's 13th largest economy, is suffering from Economy downturn. In June, industrial output grew at a slow rate of 6.7 percent on corporate investment from a year earlier which reduced the number of newly created jobs. Private consumption rose only 2.4 percent in the second quarter from a year ago and seasonally adjusted spending dropped 0.1 percent from the previous quarter.

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Korea Envisions Oil Trading Hub in Asia by 2012

South Korea will be ready for the next oil trading hub by March 2012

South Korea will be the major oil trading hub as part of the world's fifth-largest oil importing for a Northeast Asian oil trading center in the southern port cities of Yeosu and Ulsan by 2012,a senior government policymaker said Monday. This policy will allow South Korea to retain extensive crude oil reserves that can be tapped in emergency situations.

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Economic Trouble Deepens

South Korea trade deficit in July due to rising costs in oil, other commodities

According to the Bank of Korea (BOK) and the World Bank this Friday, South Korea's gross national income (GNI) fell one notch to 13th among 209 economies in 2007 from a year earlier. South Korea is seeing the rise of Russia on earnings from strong exports of oil and other natural resources.

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south_korea

Korea: Foreigners' Stake in Bourse Falls Below 30%

The Seoul bourse is losing its attraction for foreigners.

Foreigners' Stake in the total market cap fell below 30 percent for the first time since 2001. According to the Korea Exchange, the country's stock market operator, foreigners held 29.89 percent stocks. The first fall below 30 percent since 2001 came after foreign investors recorded net selling from the Seoul stock market for 33 straight trading days from June 9 to July 23.

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south_korea

Koreans Earn Less, Spend More Abroad Than Japanese

Koreans earn less but spend more during oversea trips, nearly four times more than Japanese.

In 2007, Koreans spent a total of $20.89 billion, compared with Japan's $26.4 billion which accounted for 2.2 percent of GDP. Increase in the number of people traveling abroad and overseas educational spending were the main reason cited by the central bank.

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south_korea

Korean Capital Market: Now and Forward

South Korea, the world's 12th largest trading economy, is pursuing its ambition of becoming a financial hub like London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.

According to a recent report, the Korean government, in cooperation with the financial industry, keeps pushing the country towards becoming a financial hub. By upgrading it's capital market, South Korea aims for higher competitiveness in international markets. According to the report,the upgrade will provide more opportunities for financial firms. Companies can become more diversified and capable of economies of scale.

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south_korea

Korean economy misses the mark in second quarter

The Bank of Korea said earlier this month that 2nd quarter GDP would grow 1 percent on-quarter and 5 percent on-year.

According to the Bank of Korea, Second-quarter GDP lower than they expected. The bank said earlier this month that 2nd quarter GDP would grow 1 percent on-quarter and 5 percent on-year. From the report, consumer spending dropped 0.1 percent, by industry manufacturers grew 2.2 percent, Builders;however, posted minus 2.4 percent, and Exports rose 3.7 percent from the first quarter.

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south_korea

Korea: Large Investments Boost Overall FDI 35 Percent in H1

Korea's foreign direct investment in the first half of 2008 rose by 35 percent from a year earlier

Korea's foreign direct investment in the first half of 2008 rose by 35 percent from a year earlier. According to the preliminary report by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, 1.18 billion increased from 2007 in FDI in the January to June period. The oversea investment concentrated in the service sector by 61.8 percent. For the total, FDI outflow in South Korea accounted for 31.9 percent.

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south_korea

Talk Grows of 2nd Financial Crisis in South Korea

Citizens and economic policy makers have been discussing the increasing chance of a financial crisis in South Korea.

Citizens and economic policy makers have been discussing the increasing chance of a financial crisis in South Korea. Short term liabilities, which were directly responsible for the crisis in 1997, increased to 42.8% in March. Short term liabilities were at 48.2% at the onset of the 1997 crisis. Furthermore, Korea will shift to net debtor nation status for the first time in the last eight years. The Bank of Korea, however, claims that surging debt is not an indicator of another crisis, and that chances of such a crisis are small.

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south_korea

South Korea Eases Restrictions on Borrowing by Foreign Banks

The South Korean government will allow local branches of foreign banks to double the amount they can borrow from their overseas parent companies.

The South Korean government will allow local branches of foreign banks to double the amount they can borrow from their overseas parent companies. Although the Korean tax office recognizes interest expenses on borrowings from their head offices of up to three times their capital, the new rule will raise the limit to six times. Earlier this year, the limit was cut from six to three-fold to combat the rise of short-term foreign debt. With the re-expansion of the limit, the won-dollar exchange rate is expected to be lowered.

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south_korea

FDI in Korea Shrinks for 3rd Straight Year

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Korea decreased for the third consecutive year, making it the only country in the OECD to experience such a protracted decline.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in South Korea decreased for the third consecutive year, making it the only country in the OECD to experience such a protracted decline. The OECD as a whole attracted a 31 percent increase in 2007 over 2006, while Korea attracted 56.7 percent less, for a total of US$1.6 billion for 2007. That number places Korea 29th in amount of FDI attracted among the 30 nations of the OECD, in front of only Norway. Korea ranked 16th in 2004.

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south_korea

South Korea Sets Fuel-Saving Measures

South Korea has instituted new fuel saving measures, including restricting road access to alternate days for thousands of cars, as well as cutting down air conditioning in government buildings.

South Korea has instituted new fuel saving measures, including restricting road access to alternate days for thousands of cars, as well as cutting down air conditioning in government buildings. The move is largely symbolic as the restrictions will make little difference, as South Korea intends to spend $111.2 billion dollars on oil this year. If global oil prices reach $170 a barrel, Finance Minister Kang Man-Soo said mandatory savings may be instituted in the private sector as well.

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south_korea

South Korea May Limit Lending to Cool Inflation; Kospi Drops

South Korean Finance Minister Kang Man Soo announced that the country might limit bank lending and "stabilize" the won's decline in order to fight the fastest inflation in a decade.

South Korean Finance Minister Kang Man Soo announced that the country might limit bank lending and "stabilize" the won's decline in order to fight the fastest inflation in a decade. Korea's Consumer Price Index rose 5.5 percent in June.

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south_korea

Concerns Grow as Indicators Point to Stagflation

South Korean experts fear that a slowdown in business production and lower investment, combined with rising consumer prices, may lead to stagflation in East Asia's third-largest economy.

South Korean experts fear that a slowdown in business production and lower investment, combined with rising consumer prices, may lead to stagflation in East Asia's third-largest economy. Mining and industrial production dropped by 0.6 percent in May, and export growth was not robust enough to outweigh the decrease in domestic demand. Adding to these problems is the issue of political instability, caused by a president who has lost the support of much of the country.

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south_korea

Korea Exchange Bank CEO Presses Regulators on Sale

Korea Exchange Bank Chief Executive Officer Richard Wacker pressed South Korean regulators to approve the sale of the company to HSBC Holdings Plc after a Seoul court cleared its owner, Lone Star Funds, of criminal charges.

Korea Exchange Bank Chief Executive Officer Richard Wacker pressed South Korean regulators to approve the sale of the company to HSBC Holdings Plc after a Seoul court cleared its owner, Lone Star Funds, of criminal charges. HSBC has said it may walk away from the deal if regulators fail to meet a July 31 deadline set by the London-based bank.

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south_korea

Korea Resuming U.S. Beef Imports

The government has decided to proclaim new sanitary rules for U.S. beef and beef products reflecting the additional Korea-U.S. talks that ban shipments of beef from cattle older than 30 months.

The government has decided to proclaim new sanitary rules for U.S. beef and beef products reflecting the additional Korea-U.S. talks that ban shipments of beef from cattle older than 30 months. The new sanitary rules take effect the moment the rules are posted.

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south_korea

South Korea To Develop 8 Oil Fields In Northern Iraq

The Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC), South Korea's state-run energy compancy, said it had secured rights to explore and develop eight oil fields in northern Iraq.

The Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC), South Korea's state-run energy compancy, said it had secured rights to explore and develop eight oil fields in northern Iraq. These fields may hold enough oil to supply the entire country for two years. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between KNOC and Kurdistan, Iraq's autonomous region.

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south_korea

Korea Lags Region in Economic Growth

South Korea's economic growth is expected to be the lowest of all Asian economies for the sixth consecutive year.

South Korea's economic growth is expected to be the lowest of all Asian economies for the sixth consecutive year. The average annual growth rate determined by eight major investment banks is just 4.5 percent, which is similar to the growth target set by the government, down from an initial 7 percent earlier in the year. In addition to a USD 6 billion trade deficit, Korea also suffers from worsening domestic demand and sluggish investment.

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south_korea

Korea, U.S. Agree to New Beef Trade Terms

Beef talks between South Korea and the U.S. recently, with Korea deciding not to import beef from U.S. cattle aged 30 months or older until they regain trust in American cattle.

Beef talks between South Korea and the U.S. recently, with Korea deciding not to import beef from U.S. cattle aged 30 months or older until they regain trust in American cattle. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will verify that cattle is less than 30 months old and will issue a certificate of sanitation.

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south_korea

Deal Reached on Truckers' Strike

The Korea Cargo Transport Workers Union and the Container Transportation and Container Yard Operators' Association (CTCA) reached a deal that will bring them a 19 percent increase in transport fees, which will likely lead to the end of the weeklong truckers' strike.

The Korea Cargo Transport Workers Union and the Container Transportation and Container Yard Operators' Association (CTCA) reached a deal that will bring them a 19 percent increase in transport fees, which will likely lead to the end of the weeklong truckers' strike.

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south_korea

Obama Renews Attack on Korea-U.S. FTA

The presumptive Democratic nominee for U.S. president Barack Obama renewed his attack on the proposed Korea-U.S. free trade agreement this week.

The presumptive Democratic nominee for U.S. president Barack Obama renewed his attack on the proposed Korea-U.S. free trade agreement this week. One of his main criticisms is that the deal would allow "hundreds of thousands of cars into the U.S." but would restrict the number of automobiles the U.S. exports to South Korea.

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south_korea

South Korea: Japan Should Give Aid to North Korea

South Korea urged Japan to give North Korea economic and energy aid to stimulate progress in coming to terms over Pyongyang's nuclear weapon program.

South Korea urged Japan to give North Korea economic and energy aid to stimulate progress in coming to terms over Pyongyang's nuclear weapon program. Now North Korea will receive energy aid worth 1 million tons of oil in exchange for dismantling its nuclear facilities.

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south_korea

South Korean workers Strike Over Fuel

Construction workers have joined truck drivers in a strike calling for cheaper fuel.

Construction workers have joined truck drivers in a strike calling for cheaper fuel. Truckers have already caused 2.31 billion in losses to exporters, and 2.43 billion to importers. The Construction workers and truckers show no signs of ending their strikes in the near future.

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south_korea

Truckers' Strike Paralyzes Busan Port

Busan Harbor is still shut down after the third day of a nationwide strike by the Korean Transport Workers' Union on Sunday.

Busan Harbor is still shut down after the third day of a nationwide strike by the Korean Transport Workers' Union on Sunday. The strike at the harbor, which accounts for 80 percent of the country's containers cargoes, may cause sever disruptions at various workplaces throughout the week.

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south_korea

Calls for Daylight Saving Time Growing

Amid skyrocketing oil prices, an increasing number of people are calling for the introduction of daylight saving time, which was shelved by the government.

Amid skyrocketing oil prices, an increasing number of people are calling for the introduction of daylight saving time, which was shelved by the government. Last year, a government-funded think tank reported its introduction would save energy worth about W92 billion (US$1=W1,030) and bring about production and consumption effects worth as much as W2 trillion. But the review has been suspended since last September.

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south_korea

S. Korea: 80,000 Protest New US Beef Import Accord

About 80,000 gathered together in Seoul to protest again against the planned resumption of U.S. beef imports.

About 80,000 gathered together in Seoul to protest again against the planned resumption of U.S. beef imports. The largest protest yet came as the entire Cabinet of embattled President Lee Myung-bak offered to resign. Protests began after a popular TV program raised questions about the safety of U.S. beef and claimed Koreans are more susceptible to the human form of mad cow disease due to genetics.

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south_korea

Lotte Group Will Buy Cosmo Investment From Sparx

South Korea's Lotte Group has agreed to purchase more than 50 percent of the nations largest investment consulting firm, Cosmo Investment Management Co., from Japan's Sparx Group Co.

South Korea's Lotte Group has agreed to purchase more than 50 percent of the nations largest investment consulting firm, Cosmo Investment Management Co., from Japan's Sparx Group Co. Lotte, the industrial group that is also Korea's largest department-store chain, said Lottle and Sparx would jointly manage Cosmo.

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south_korea

Seoul $10bn Stimulus Targets Oil Strains

The South Korean government announced a USD 10 billion stimulus package to ease the burden on consumers and some businesses of record high oil prices.

The South Korean government announced a USD 10 billion stimulus package to ease the burden on consumers and some businesses of record high oil prices. Korea, which is the world fifth-largest oil importer, would provide workers and self-owned businesses with tax rebates, and low-income individuals with subsidies. Oil prices have doubled here in the past year, contributing to the 4.9 percent inflation rate in May, a seven-year high.

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south_korea

Intel fined by South Korean Regulator

South Korea's competition regulator has fined Intel, the largest maker of semi-conductors in the world, KRW 26 billion (USD 25.4 million).

South Korea's competition regulator has fined Intel, the largest maker of semi-conductors in the world, KRW 26 billion (USD 25.4 million). According to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, Intel has offered rebates to Korean computer companies and undercut competitor Advanced Micro Devices. The firm said it was disappointed with the announcement and that it disagreed with the findings.

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south_korea

Korean Households Spend USD 2 Billion a Year on Private Education

Despite tough economic times, Koreans still find a way to pay for extra education.

Despite tough economic times, Koreans still find a way to pay for extra education. The Bank of Korea said costs for private educational institutes like cram schools and art and music academies has grown considerably as a result of rising tuition costs. The figure in the first quarter increased by 8 percent, which the typical Korean household spending about USD 2,300 per year on schooling for their children.

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south_korea

Buy-in-America Boom Spreads to Korea

The weak U.S. dollar, which has launched an American shopping frenzy in Europe known as "Buy-in-America," is having the same effect in Korea, thanks to a strong won, which has gained 7 percent against the dollar since the beginning of last year.

The weak U.S. dollar, which has launched an American shopping frenzy in Europe known as "Buy-in-America," is having the same effect in Korea, thanks to a strong won, which has gained 7 percent against the dollar since the beginning of last year. According the the Korea Customs Service, the number of parcels from overseas between January and October last year has increased 14 percent from the previous year. A large amount of that increase has come via U.S. Internet shopping sites.

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south_korea

South Korea to Delay Renewed US Beef Imports

Large, continuing street protests have convinced the South Korean government to delay the planned resumption of U.S. beef imports.

Large, continuing street protests have convinced the South Korean government to delay the planned resumption of U.S. beef imports. The decision was made by the ruling Grand National Party, just days after Seoul agreed to restart importation of beef this week.

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south_korea

Korea's Tax Burden Grew Fastest in OECD

Korea's per-capita tax burder grew 3.5 times over the past 15 years, the fastest among the 30 members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to an OECD survey.

Korea's per-capita tax burder grew 3.5 times over the past 15 years, the fastest among the 30 members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to an OECD survey. In 2005, each Korean paid an average of USD 4,196, compared with USD 1,164 in 1990.

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south_korea

South Korea to Resume US Beef Imports

Seoul announced today that it will go ahead with the plan to resume imports of U.S. beef, despite widespread protests.

Seoul announced today that it will go ahead with the plan to resume imports of U.S. beef. The plan has been subject to fierce criticism across the country, with daily street protests across the country. A ban on American beef has been in place since December 2003, when the first case of mad cow disease was discovered in the U.S. The U.S. has insisted that South Korea remove the ban before moving forward with the Korean-American free trade agreement (KORUS FTA).

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south_korea

Intervention May Signal End of Gov't 'Weak Won' Policy

Foreign exchange authorities intervened three times on Tuesday to boost the strength of the won, perhaps signaling an end to Seoul's "weak won" policy.

Foreign exchange authorities intervened three times on Tuesday to boost the strength of the won, perhaps signaling an end to Seoul's "weak won" policy. The government has been criticized for the weakness of the won, with small and mid-sized businesses complaining about the loss due to exchange rates. Koreans have also complained about growing inflation, due in large part to soaring oil prices.

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south_korea

“Korean Wave” Turns to Kids for New Export Growth

Korean animation is at the front edge of the "Korean Wave," which is spreading Korean culture throughout Asia and across the globe. The cartoon "Pororo the Little Penguin," which debuted on Korean television in 2003, has already been exported to 81 nations. Korean children's online computer games have also exploded in popularity. "Maple Story" has around 76 million subscribers in 58 countries, including Japan, China and the U.S.

Korean animation is at the front edge of the "Korean Wave," which is spreading Korean culture throughout Asia and across the globe. The cartoon "Pororo the Little Penguin," which debuted on Korean television in 2003, has already been exported to 81 nations. Korean children's online computer games have also exploded in popularity. "Maple Story" has around 76 million subscribers in 58 countries, including Japan, China and the U.S.

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south_korea

Koreans Pay among World’s Highest Prices, Survey Shows

The Korea Consumer Agency performed a price comparison of seven items between Seoul and other cities around the world, and found that Koreans pay some of the world's highest prices.

The Korea Consumer Agency performed a price comparison of seven items between Seoul and other cities around the world, and found that Koreans pay some of the world's highest prices. These higher prices are due to factors such as government policies, taxes, logistics expenses, labor productivity, and prices of raw materials. The Korea Consumer Agency is looking for unfair trade practices and other acts that are making prices so high and trying to stop them.

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south_korea

Pork Sales Increase Amid Beef Scare

Local sales of high quality beef have been growing by more than 10 percent in South Korea; in contrast beef imports from U.S. and Australia are diminishing.

Local sales of high quality beef have been growing by more than 10 percent in South Korea; in contrast beef imports from U.S. and Australia are diminishing. The mad cow disease is affecting the nation; consumers might think that more expensive meet is safer.

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south_korea

Banks’ Earnings Plunge 49% in 1st Quarter

Bank profits in Korea are falling right now, despite attempts at increasing their bulk instead of diversifying their income portfolio.

Bank profits in Korea are falling right now, despite attempts at increasing their bulk instead of diversifying their income portfolio. Bank profits are down 48.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service. The FSS said banks "should be diversifying management and enhancing effectiveness" to increase their profits.

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south_korea

More Young Koreans Despair of Finding a Job

Due to a recession and a lack of investment by companies, many Koreans in their 20's are not even trying to join the labor force.

Due to a recession and a lack of investment by companies, many Koreans in their 20's are not even trying to join the labor force. In accordance with the National Statistical Office, for the first quarter of 2008, the input in the labor force for people in their 20's was only 63.9 percent this figure is been the lowest since 1999.

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south_korea

Korea’s Nominal GDP Falls to 13th Place

This year, the Korean economy was ranked 13th out of 181 countries in gross domestic product last year.

This year, the Korean economy was ranked 13th out of 181 countries in gross domestic product last year. This is down one spot from the 2006 rankings. Korea's GDP ranked in at USD 957 billion last year.

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south_korea

Yen-Denominated Loans Drying Up

Commercial banks in Korea are deferring yen-dominated loans because of a decrease in incoming foreign currency.

Commercial banks in Korea are deferring yen-dominated loans because of a decrease in incoming foreign currency. For some banks, they stopped giving out yen loans starting late last month. Right now, banks are encouraging loans in won.

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south_korea

Economy Stimulus Measures Eyed

In an effort to increase the growth rate of GDP, the Korean government is implementing a variety steps to stimulate the economy.

In an effort to increase the growth rate of GDP, the Korean government is implementing a variety steps to stimulate the economy. The steps, which include deregulation and tax cuts, are intended to make the services industry more competitive.

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south_korea

Per-capita debt hits 6.2 million won in ‘07

Because of government efforts to raise money to stabilize the local currency market, Korea's national debt grew by over USD 16.3 billion last year.

Because of government efforts to raise money to stabilize the local currency market, Korea's national debt grew by over USD 16.3 billion last year. This is 33.2% of the nation's gross domestic product. With this figure and Korea's population of 48.4 million, the per-capita debt rose at the end of 2007.

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south_korea

Korea's FTAs Reaping Trade Benefits

South Korea's economic growth has increased since the free trade accord with Singapore signed in March 2006.

South Korea's economic growth has increased since the free trade accord with Singapore signed in March 2006. Korea now experiences 50 percent growth in two-way trade volume and a surplus of USD 5.8 billion since February from last year.

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south_korea

Youth Unemployment in Korea on the Rise

According to a report by the OECD, one out of every six Koreans between the ages of 15 and 29 is neither in employment nor in education or training.

According to a report by the OECD, one out of every six Koreans between the ages of 15 and 29 is neither in employment nor in education or training. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development blames this predicament to the lateness of young Koreans into the labor market, caused by high non-employment among college students and obligatory military service.

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south_korea

Korean Economy Facing Dangers of '3 Highs'

South Korea is on the track of a high won-dollar exchange rate, high international oil prices, and high prices.

South Korea is on the track of a high won-dollar exchange rate, high international oil prices, and high prices. The won-dollar exchange is now at W1,000 per dollar, this high rate creates higher consumer prices since imports are more expensive. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude raised above USD 110 a barrel and Dubai crude will raise USD 100 a barrel soon.

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south_korea

Bank of Korea Clash over Inflation Controls

The Bank of Korea is against an interest rate cut and intends to keep the inflation rate within 3.5 percent.

The Bank of Korea is against an interest rate cut and intends to keep the inflation rate within 3.5 percent. However, there are some disagreements within the government; they rather stimulate growth than control inflation.

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south_korea

Government to Establish Agricultural Distribution Firms Nationwide

South Korea's government plans to launch 100 agricultural and food distribution companies throughout the country.

South Korea's government plans to launch 100 agricultural and food distribution companies throughout the country. These companies can process one-third of local agricultural products. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishers is planning to implement a new system where agricultural companies, farmers and fisherman can invest and run these companies jointly.

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south_korea

Government Steps Into Stabilize FX Rate

The government is taking measures to stabilize South Korea's foreign exchange rate.

The government is taking measures to stabilize South Korea's foreign exchange rate. The won-dollar exchange rate has successfully dropped, closing at W1, 014 per dollar; after a meeting held by chiefs of Financial Service Commission, Bank of Korea, Strategy and Finance, Economic Affairs, and National Policy Planning.

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south_korea

Won Continues to Tumble against Dollar

In South-Korea the won-dollar exchange rate escalated from W1, 029.2 per dollar to W1, 031.9, from Monday to Friday.

In South-Korea the won-dollar exchange rate escalated from W1, 029.2 per dollar to W1, 031.9, from Monday to Friday. Experts suggest that the rise on the won-dollar exchange rate is due to the U.S. financial firms' liquidity crisis and it will continue to increase until the subprime mortgage crisis is controlled.

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south_korea

$6 billion designated for raw materials search

Korea is planning to invest abroad in mining and energy projects.

Korea is planning to invest abroad in mining and energy projects. Korea is highly dependent on mineral resources imports, and it craves to secure a stable supply. Korea Resources Corporation's raw material projects are mainly allocated in Australia, China and Canada, but it is planning to embrace Africa and Latin America.

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south_korea

3 Million South Koreans Have No Jobs

The jobless count in South Korea has increased to an all-time high of 3 million amid the tight labor market.

The jobless count in South Korea has increased to an all-time high of 3 million amid the tight labor market. These people are categorized as "taking a rest" without any real intention of working. The number of college graduates and others studying or training to get jobs also reached an all-time high of 607,000 last month. A officer from the South Korean National Statistical Office reports that "These idle people have no plan to get a job. They want to stay home and do nothing, discouraged by the competitive job market and a shortage of decent jobs."

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south_korea

Kazakhstan and South Korea Sign USD 500 Million Energy Contract

Kazakhstan and the South Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) signed a USD 500 million "memorandum of understanding" acknowledging South Korea's participation in the implementation of an energy project in Astana.

Kazakhstan and the South Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) signed a USD 500 million "memorandum of understanding" acknowledging South Korea's participation in the implementation of an energy project in Astana. The power plant is expected to be a thermal unit with a total capacity of 240 megawatts and will be based in Kazakhstan's capital.

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south_korea

Phnom Penn's Skyline to Change Dramatically

Sales have begun for units in Phnom Penh's first skyscraper, a 42 story pair of towers three times taller than any other building in the city.

Sales have begun for units in Phnom Penh's first skyscraper, a 42 story pair of towers three times taller than any other building in the city. The "Gold Tower 42" building is being built by a South Korean company and indicates a commitment to investment by South Korea and development by the Cambodian government.

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south_korea

South Korea and EU to Hold 5th Round of Free Trade Talks in Brussels This Week

South Korea and the European Union will launch their fifth round of negotiations in Brussels this week with both sides intending to make a breakthrough in some sticky issues, including a dispute over auto trade.

South Korea and the European Union will launch their fifth round of negotiations in Brussels this week with both sides intending to make a breakthrough in some sticky issues, including a dispute over auto trade. Fresh from reaching a trade accord with the United States in April this year, Seoul has held four rounds of negotiations with Brussels on a free trade agreement that could provide Asia's third-largest economy with a commercial bridge to Europe. The EU is South Korea's second-largest trading partner after China, with bilateral trade reaching $79 billion in 2006. Some unofficial studies suggest a free trade agreement would boost that figure by as much as 40 percent in the long run. The EU is also the largest foreign investor in South Korea, with $40.4 billion invested as of the end of 2006.

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south_korea

FTA With Middle East and Korea to Raise GDP by 0.5%

A free trade agreement (FTA) with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will pull up the gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.54 percent

A free trade agreement (FTA) with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will pull up the gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.54 percent, a recent report showed. The GCC is comprised of six countries around the Persian Gulf ― Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Park estimates the accord will create 8,384 jobs, expand annual exports to the region by 4.9 percent or $260 million and imports to Korea by 2.4 percent, or $700 million. He said electric and electronics goods will see the biggest boost in exports, followed by metal, nonmetal, steel, ceramics and textiles.

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south_korea

Korean Firms Quit China in Droves

South Korean enterprises in China find themselves up a creek without a paddle in the changing business environment, which went form bad to worse due to the toughening government regulations and decreasing incentives there.

South Korean enterprises in China find themselves up a creek without a paddle in the changing business environment, which went form bad to worse due to the toughening government regulations and decreasing incentives there. Korean companies in the country feel the need to leave because of the Chinese government decision to scrapping tax cuts for foreign enterprises and moving to oblige them to join the five major insurers. South Korean entrepreneurs in China are finding it increasingly difficult to liquidate their companies, as a growing number of local laborers as well as creditors see them as ''fly-by-night'' businessmen. One in every 10 South Korean companies in China is considering withdrawing from the country due to a deterioration in the business environment.

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south_korea

Overseas Investments Break $20 Billion Mark

Korea's direct overseas investment exceeded $20 billion for the first time in 2007.

Korea's direct overseas investment exceeded $20 billion for the first time in 2007. The country's direct investment abroad increased by 83.7 percent from 2006, to break the $20 billion mark. Korean companies invested some $10.9 billion. The banks explanation of the rise in overseas investment is the strengthening of the Korean won, and also the government has been actively coordinating policies to encourage domestic companies to expand overseas.

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south_korea

Rules on Building Factories to Be Eased

Korean governments are considering easing restrictions on industrial activities in Seoul, due to the President Lee Myung-bak's pledge to spur corporate investment. Over the past 5 years, The Rho Moo-hyun administration has created a blockade for regional development in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.

Korean governments are considering easing restrictions on industrial activities in Seoul, due to the President Lee Myung-bak's pledge to spur corporate investment. Over the past 5 years, The Rho Moo-hyun administration has created a blockade for regional development in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province. Currently, only 14 types of high-tech businesses operated by local conglomerates are permitted to either build a new plant or increase existing facilities on a case-by-case basis. But foreign-invested firms with non-Koreans owning over 50 percent stake are allowed to do so for 25 different kinds of industries, including aerospace and optical fibers. Government disapproval drew strong protest from businesses as well as from the Icheon city government and its citizens. They urged the government to revise the law so that the memory chip company can expand operations near its existing site for corporate efficiency and job creation.

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south_korea

Hyundai Rotem Wins $1.06 Bill Projects in One Month

Koreans signed 1.06 billion dollars worth of contracts in a month.

Hyundai Rotem, a Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group unit manufacturing rolling stock, defense products and plant equipment, signed contracts worth 1.06 billion dollars at home and abroad in a single month. They won the bid for six projects for railroad vehicles in Iran, Tunisia and Kazakhstan as well as at home in the latest month.

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south_korea

Taiwan to Share Science with South Korea

Taiwan will build a technology section in South Korea as part of a wide reaching plan to foster international exchange of basic scientific research.

Taiwan will build a technology section in South Korea as part of a wide reaching plan to foster international exchange of basic scientific research. This center will join ones in Russia, Australia, Vietnam, India, the Czech Republic, and the United States. These centers began as an effort to receive scientific assistance but now include providing assistance and have a more cooperative and sharing design. After South Korea the next target nation will be Brazil.

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south_korea

Korea’s Exports Projected to Reach $400 Billion Next Year

Korean exports are estimated to reach USD 400 billion in 2008, a growth of 12.5 percent, despite rising oil prices and strengthening won.

A survey of overseas buyers indicates an increase in demand for exports such as raw materials and parts for automobiles and electronics. Overseas shipments are estimated to reach USD 400 billion in 2008, a growth of 12.5 percent, despite rising oil prices and strengthening won.

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south_korea

Koreans Pessimistic About 2008 Economic Outlook

A survey by Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry reveal that many local companies believe the economy will grow only 4.8 percent next year â€" a prediction falling short of recent think tank estimates. Rising oil prices and costs of raw materials and the strengthening won are among reasons for the pessimistic economic outlook among local firms. The price of crude oil has increased to a record high of USD 90.10 per barrel, up 57.5 percent this year.

A survey by Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry reveal that many local companies believe the economy will grow only 4.8 percent next year â€" a prediction falling short of recent think tank estimates. Rising oil prices and costs of raw materials and the strengthening won are among reasons for the pessimistic economic outlook among local firms. The price of crude oil has increased to a record high of USD 90.10 per barrel, up 57.5 percent this year.

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south_korea

Korean Banks Struggle with Won-Dollar Exchange Rate

As the won continues to weaken against the dollar, foreign investors are pulling out, the market is becoming more insecure and Korean banks are struggling to secure enough greenbacks.

Predictions that the dollar will continue to gain strength against the weakening won has Korean investors rushing to buy greenbacks. The struggle to secure enough dollars has banks making efforts to reach new foreign investors since many have withdrawn investments. In attempts to stabilize the market, The Bank of Korea, for example, is attempting to enforce strengthened tactics such as regulations against short-term dollar borrowing.

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south_korea

Record-High Profits for South Korean Large Conglomerates

S. Korean large conglomerates enjoy record-high profits and strong growth in 2007 despite the strong won and escalating prices for oil and raw materials.

S. Korean large conglomerates are enjoying record-high profits and strong growth this year. There has been a 15 percent increase in operating profit and 9.3 percent increase in combined sales for 543 companies, according to the Korea Exchange and the Korea Listed Companies' Association. Experts attribute the success to major improvements in management of these firms in spite of impediments such as the strengthening won and booming raw material and oil prices.

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south_korea

Income Gap Continues to Widen Among Korean Households

The gap between the top and bottom 20 percent urban salaried households is continuing to broaden despite the efforts of an administration who pledged to lessen this disparity.

The income gap has been widening between high and low income households in Korea, according to the National Statistical Office, despite the initiation of the Roh Moo-hyun Administration. Since its start in 2003, the Administration claims the prevention of this very thing as one of its top priorities. It is said that more pressure will be placed on the government to create higher paying jobs for the bottom 20 percent urban salaried households in both the public and private sectors in attempts to mollify the problem.

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south_korea

Economic Platform Will Play Major Role in the Korean Presidential Election

As a new candidate enters the race and threatens to split the conservative vote, economic strategy will be the hot topic of the Korean presidential election.

Former GNP Chairman Lee Hoi-chang has announced he will run as an independent in the Korean presidential election to be held in just six weeks. With Hoi-chang now in the race, there is fear Lee Myung-bak will lose his position as the current presidential forerunner as conservative votes will now be split. With the three players on relatively level playing fields, it is predicted that their economic platforms and perceived ability to strengthen the country's economy will weigh heavily on voter's minds.

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south_korea

S. Korean Government Allocates Billions to Farming Industry

The Korean government has allocated KRW 8.3 trillion in addition to the already KRW 119 trillion already in place for negative effects from free trade agreements.

To stave off negative impacts on the local farming industry due to the South Korea-US free trade agreement, the Korean government has allocated KRW 8.3 trillion in addition to the already KRW 119 trillion already in place for overall FTA effects. Of that money, KRW 20 trillion will be spent in just the next 10 years, partially as compensation for short-term damages and farms that will shut down.

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south_korea

The Korean Won's Sharp Rise Complicates Profitability for Hyundai Motor

Korean companies relying heavily on exports are struggling with the strengthening won and drastic measures are necessary to remain competitive in the international market.

Korean companies relying heavily on exports, such as Hyundai Motor, are struggling with the strengthening won. To cope with drastic currency differences, minimize possible losses, and remain competitive in the automotive market, Hyundai must reduce costs by 20 percent during the next 2 years, drop prices in competitive markets and cut 2007 sales targets.

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south_korea

Won-dollar Rate Barely Manages to Close Above 900

The won-dollar exchange rate dipped under 900 for the first time in 10 years, but managed to close at 900.7 to the dollar.

The won-dollar exchange rate dipped under 900 for the first time in 10 years, but managed to close at 900.7 to the dollar. Foreign banks predict further falls in the exchange rate between the won and dollar stating that, "it's just a matter of degree, not the direction."

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south_korea

South Korean Banks Raise Deposit Rates to High of Over 6%

The outstanding balance of core deposits among local lenders has dropped KRW 7 trillion during the past 4 months alone and banks are desperate to regain the attention of investors, even if it means undermining bottom lines.

The increasing appeal of the stock market has people turning their attention away from banking. During the past 4 months alone, the outstanding balance of core deposits among local lenders has dropped KRW 7 trillion and banks are desperate to regain the attention of investors, even it means undermining bottom lines. The average borrowing rate is currently at its highest level in the past six years, standing at 6.7 percent.

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south_korea

Plans to Spend Billions to Develop New South Korean Tourist City Underway

A ceremony was held to announce the development of a 14.6 square kilometer tourism center, which will cost roughly USD 10 billion through 2020.

A ceremony was held at the coastal county of Taean, located in South Korea, to formally announce plans to develop a 14.6 square kilometer area around Cheonsu Bay into a new tourism center. It is estimated that nearly USD 10 billion will be invested into the project through 2020, will create 160 thousand jobs and attract 7.8 million tourists per year.

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south_korea

South Korean Government Opposes Oil Tax Cuts

Despite immense pressure to lower oil taxes, the government cites precedents and environmental benefits as reasons to defy demands.

Although there is immense pressure to lower oil taxes due to record-high prices per barrel, the South Korean government refuses to concede to this demand citing that no country employs this practice. In addition, the government rationalizes that current oil prices may decrease demand for oil, thus benefiting the environment through lower carbon emission counts. The current resistance from the government, however, will likely last only until the next presidential election as both top-runners pledge to cut oil taxes by 10 and 20 percent.

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south_korea

South Korea and EU Face Trade Negotiation Problems

Negotiations between South Korea and the European Union ended without a trade agreement as both sides could not satisfy the standards of the other

Negotiations between South Korea and the European Union ended without a trade agreement as both sides could not satisfy the standards of the other. Auto trade was a subject of much disagreement as both sides refused to negotiate on their stance. The regulations for European cars in Seoul are tough and the taxes are high which results in Korea only buying 15,000 cars from the EU and the EU buying 74,000 from Seoul. The agreement would be the largest trade agreement Korea has entered into, as the EU has 27 member countries.

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south_korea

Korea's Leading Presidential Candidates Express Economic Visions

Leading presidential candidates' contrasting strategies for economic growth reflect party beliefs and their respective ideological backgrounds.

Although the Grand National Party's Lee Myung-bak and the United New Democratic Party's Chung Dong-young both express the need for economic growth, their views on achieving this goal differ drastically. The conservative Myung-bak is a proponent of strengthening local private sector financial corporations while the liberal Dong-young advocates equal opportunities for underprivileged economic entities.

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south_korea

South Korea's FDI Ranking Stable from 2005 to 2006

According to the World Investment Report from the UN Conference on Trade and Development, South Korea ranks 17th on its index measuring Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) potential.

According to the World Investment Report from the UN Conference on Trade and Development, South Korea ranks 17th on its index measuring Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) potential. This ranking changed little from 2005 to 2006 despite losing business from large foreign companies such as Wal-Mart.

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south_korea

Economic Growth Forecasted for South Korea

Standard & Poor projects a 4.3 to 4.8 percent growth for South Korea this year and a 4.5 to 5 percent increase next year.

Standard & Poor projects a 4.3 to 4.8 percent growth for South Korea this year and a 4.5 to 5 percent increase next year. S&P also estimates an overall growth of 7 percent for Asia despite a depressing US economy.

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south_korea

Korea: Disagreement Over Benefits of Daylight-Savings Time

The Korean business community proposes the implementation of daylight-savings time during summer months, citing the change would lead to energy savings and increases in productivity. Think Tanks such as the Korean Development Institute and the Korea Energy Economics Institute disagree, however.

The Korean business community proposes the implementation of daylight-savings time during summer months, citing the change would lead to energy savings and increases in productivity. Think Tanks such as the Korean Development Institute and the Korea Energy Economics Institute disagree, however, reporting that there is no evidence that daylight-savings time produces substantial economic benefits.

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south_korea

Thailand Trade Mission to Evaluate Rubber Demand in Japan and South Korea

Due to uncertainties in the world overall economy and rubber demand, Thailand will be conducting a trade mission to Japan and South Korea on Oct 14-20 for the first time in almost eight years.

Due to uncertainties in the world overall economy and rubber demand, Thailand will be conducting a trade mission to Japan and South Korea on Oct 14-20 for the first time in almost eight years. The aim of this mission is to evaluate and study the future growth demand of rubber. Thai exporters also attempt to attract large Japanese firms and processed rubber industries to invest in Thai businesses.

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south_korea

South Korea falls short in Business

South Korea falls seven places in The World Bank's rating of "Ease of Doing Business 2008"

South Korea falls seven places in The World Bank's rating of "Ease of Doing Business 2008" to rest at number 30. When he took office in 2003, President Roh Moo-hyun promised to improve business and the economy; however, the country's international competitiveness has only mitigated. As a result of the circumstances for businesses in South Korea, many local firms moved their production overseas in attempt to gain better opportunity.

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south_korea

Yunta In Talks With South Korea and Japan Re Strategic Alliance

Victor Ma, president and CEO of Yuanta Financial Holdings revealed yesterday that Yuanta officials will meet with their South Korean and Japanese counterparts from two major South Korean and one major Japanese security firms to discuss entering into a strategic alliance.

Victor Ma, president and CEO of Yuanta Financial Holdings revealed yesterday that Yuanta officials will meet with their South Korean and Japanese counterparts from two major South Korean and one major Japanese security firms to discuss entering into a strategic alliance. If this alliance goes forward the two prospective partners may hold u pto 5-10% state in Yunta, wnich currently boasts NT$83 billion of paid-in capital. Victor Ma noted that the prospective strategic alliance with the South Korean and Japanese Firms will greatly faciliate development of the company's international business, such as boosting capability of the company in sponsoring issuacne of GDR (global depository receipts) projected up to US$500 million, up from US$300 million presently.

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south_korea

Pending Free Trade Agreement Could Increase Trade 23 Percent

Depending upon an undecided free-trade agreement, trade between South Korea and the United States could increase by 23 percent, or $18 billion a year.

Depending upon an undecided free-trade agreement, trade between South Korea and the United States could increase by 23 percent, or $18 billion a year. U.S imports could potentially increase by $6.9 billion and exports, lead by diary, pork, chemicals and machinery, would grow to nearly $10.9 billion. Susan Schwab, a U.S. Trade Representative, sees no reason that Congress would not approve the agreement as it is one of the most commercially significant free trade agreements that the United States has been a part of in almost fifteen years.

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south_korea

South Korea Approaches Developed-Market Classification

It appears that Asian stock markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong will be joined by South Korea as the FTSE is expected to upgrade South Korea from emerging market to developed market.

It appears that Asian stock markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong will be joined by South Korea as the FTSE is expected to upgrade South Korea from emerging market to developed market in it's next review in September 2008. Plans to address South Korea's failure to meet three requirements of the FTSE are already on track. Being at developed market status would lead to more international investments.

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south_korea

South Korea Begins Antitrust Allegations Against Intel

The South Korean Fair Trade Commision (FTC) has delivered a "statement of objection" to the U.S.-based microprocessor manufacture Intel, which issues preliminary allegation against Intel for allegedly undermining competitions in the personal computer microprocessor market. Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is expected to respond to the letter of objection but formal charges won't be made by South Korean antitrust regulators for at least another month. Earlier in 2007, the European Commission ruled similarly, alleging that Intel violated EU antitrust laws by giving rebates to customers that enabled the company to win sales from rival Advanced Micro Devices.

The South Korean Fair Trade Commision (FTC) has delivered a "statement of objection" to the U.S.-based microprocessor manufacture Intel, which issues preliminary allegation against Intel for allegedly undermining competitions in the personal computer microprocessor market. Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is expected to respond to the letter of objection but formal charges won't be made by South Korean antitrust regulators for at least another month. Earlier in 2007, the European Commission ruled similarly, alleging that Intel violated EU antitrust laws by giving rebates to customers that enabled the company to win sales from rival Advanced Micro Devices.

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south_korea

ROK: First of Ten Innovative Cities Breaks Ground

The Seogwipo innovative city is the first of ten to be developed across South Korea in an attempt by the government to balance national development through a project of relocating 124 public organizations. Once the innovative city construction is complete in Seogwipo, a total of nine state or public agencies will relocate to the island.

Construction has started at Seogwipo City on Jeju Island, where on Wednesday a groundbreaking ceremony will be held to celebrate the city's transition into one that caters to business. The Seogwipo innovative city is the first of ten to be developed across South Korea in an attempt by the government to balance national development through a project of relocating 124 public organizations. Once the innovative city construction is complete in Seogwipo, a total of nine state or public agencies will relocate to the island.

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south_korea

ROK: Kospi Falls 49 Points

As trading closed on Monday in Seoul, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) and the tech heavy Kosdaq Index experienced losses at the morning bell amid news of a 240 point plunge of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Reports of a four-year low in U.S. employment figures were, according to analysts, the catalyst for the sharp drop as the Korean markets opened. The KOSPI benchmark dropped 49 points from Friday to end the day at 1835, whereas the Kosdaq that is representative of the Korean tech industry fell 15 points to finish trading at 760.

As trading closed on Monday in Seoul, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) and the tech heavy Kosdaq Index experienced losses at the morning bell amid news of a 240 point plunge of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Reports of a four-year low in U.S. employment figures were, according to analysts, the catalyst for the sharp drop as the Korean markets opened. The KOSPI benchmark dropped 49 points from Friday to end the day at 1835, whereas the Kosdaq that is representative of the Korean tech industry fell 15 points to finish trading at 760.

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south_korea

North Korea Openly Invites Inspections of Nuclear Sites

According to statements made at the Asia-Pacific summit in Sydney by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, North Korea has invited experts from the U.S., China and Russia to survey disabled or soon to be disabled nuclear sites. The inspectors will travel to North Korea on September 11-15 examine the progress being made to identify and dismantle the communist country's nuclear facilities. In July, North Korea shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and allowed international nuclear inspectors in the country for the first time in 5 years in exchange for energy and economic assistance.

According to statements made at the Asia-Pacific summit in Sydney by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, North Korea has invited experts from the U.S., China and Russia to survey disabled or soon to be disabled nuclear sites. The inspectors will travel to North Korea on September 11-15 to examine the progress being made to identify and dismantle the communist country's nuclear facilities. In July, North Korea shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and allowed international nuclear inspectors in the country for the first time in 5 years in exchange for energy and economic assistance.

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south_korea

South Korea Focused on Protecting Farmers as Indian Trade Talks Begin

According to a statement from the Republic of Korea's (ROK) Agriculture Ministry, sensitive sectors of the Korean farm industry will be protected during negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with India. The negotiations, which are scheduled to be held in Seoul next week, will be start the process of the aforementioned economic partnership between the two nations that will include a free trade pact affecting various sectors including technology and farm products.

According to a statement from the Republic of Korea's (ROK) Agriculture Ministry, sensitive sectors of the Korean farm industry will be protected during negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with India. The negotiations, which are scheduled to be held in Seoul next week, will be start the process of the aforementioned economic partnership between the two nations that will include a free trade pact affecting various sectors including technology and farm products.

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south_korea

Consumer Confidence Continues Growth in South Korea

The National Statistical Office released the results of the consumer confidence index on Thursday, continues to exhibit faith in the Korean consumer. The index grew four-tenths of a percentage point from July's surveyed results. At its current level of 103, 3 points over the benchmark 100, the index demonstrates that the surveyed consumers who believe business conditions will improve in the next 6 months outnumber those who expect harsher times. When coupled with growth in industrial output and a surge in exports, many Koreans view the economic conditions of the ROK in the next 6 months with tremendous anticipation.

The National Statistical Office released the results of the consumer confidence index on Thursday, which continues to exhibit much faith on the part of the Korean consumer. The index grew four-tenths of a percentage point from July's surveyed results. At its current level of 103, 3 points over the benchmark 100, the index demonstrates that the surveyed consumers who believe business conditions will improve in the next 6 months outnumber those who expect harsher times. When coupled with growth in industrial output and a surge in exports, many Koreans view the economic conditions of the ROK in the next 6 months with tremendous anticipation.

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south_korea

ROK: Double Digit Export Surge in August

South Korean exports exhibited tremendous growth over the month of August, which totaled USD 3.12 billion and accounted for a 14 percent jump year on year, according to figures released by the Commerce Ministry. The ministry noted that the Republic of Korea's imports increased 9.8 percent over last year's August to a total of USD 2.969 billion, placing the nation's trade surplus at USD 1.54 billion for the month. Despite shipments to Japan dropping 10.8 percent, Middle East and European trade surged with an increase at 57 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Korea's flagship products of automobiles, steel and ordinary machinery helped spur on the growth.

South Korean exports exhibited tremendous growth over the month of August, which totaled USD 3.12 billion and accounted for a 14 percent jump year on year, according to figures released by the Commerce Ministry. The ministry noted that the Republic of Korea's imports increased 9.8 percent over last year's August to a total of USD 2.969 billion, placing the nation's trade surplus at USD 1.54 billion for the month. Despite shipments to Japan dropping 10.8 percent, Middle East and European trade surged with an increase at 57 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Korea's flagship products of automobiles, steel and ordinary machinery helped spur on the growth.

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south_korea

Seoul University to Soon House Hydrogen Fuel Station for Automobiles

The South Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said that GS Caltex is almost complete constructing a hydrogen fuel station on the campus of Yonsei University in Seoul's Shinchon neighborhood.

On Wednesday, the South Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said that GS Caltex is almost complete constructing a hydrogen fuel station on the campus of Yonsei University in Seoul's Shinchon neighborhood. Seoul is the third city in the Republic of Korea (ROK), behind Daejeon and Incheon, to have a hydrogen refueling station for hydro-powered vehicles. The construction of these fueling stations are operating in concert with a government project launched last November to support trial runs of highly efficient fuel cell vehicles.

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south_korea

Japan-EU Research Economic Partnership

Japan will begin joint research as early as next month with the European Union to decide whether the two parties should engage in an economic partnership. The EU, which is Japan's second largest export market, is expected to finalize a free trade agreement with South Korea by the year's end. This poses a threat to Japanese economics as South Korea and Japan are big competitors in the global markets.

Japan will begin joint research as early as next month with the European Union to decide whether the two parties should engage in an economic partnership. The EU, which is Japan's second largest export market, is expected to finalize a free trade agreement with South Korea by the year's end. This poses a threat to Japanese economics as South Korea and Japan are big competitors in the global markets.

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south_korea

ROK: Flash Memory Integration Doubling Every Year

While attending the Korea Electronic Show in Seoul, the head of Samsung Electronics' semiconductor unit, President Hwang Chang-gyu stated that his "Hwang principle' for flash memory will continue to remain valid this year. Akin to Moore's law, which is the observation that the possible number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years, the Hwang principle states that the degree of flash memory integration will double every year. Since his announcement of this principle in 2002, Hwang Chang-gyu has successfully released new semiconductor technology every September to prove his theory.

While attending the Korea Electronic Show in Seoul, the head of Samsung Electronics' semiconductor unit, President Hwang Chang-gyu stated that his "Hwang principle' for flash memory will continue to remain valid this year. Akin to Moore's law, which is the observation that the possible number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years, the Hwang principle states that the degree of flash memory integration will double every year. Since his announcement of this principle in 2002, Hwang Chang-gyu has successfully released new semiconductor technology every September to prove his theory.

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south_korea

Good Profit Outlook for South Korean Firms States JP Morgan Chase

The United States-based investment bank JPMorgan Chase announced on Monday that the fundamentals of South Korean companies were solid whereby the bank can maintain its year-end target for the Korean Exchange (KRX) at the 18 hundred point level.

The United States-based investment bank JPMorgan Chase announced on Monday that the fundamentals of South Korean companies were solid whereby the bank can maintain its year-end target for the Korean Exchange (KRX) at the 18 hundred point level. Analysts with the bank noted that the Korean currency (KRW) was not likely to fall further in spite of contradictory projections, but advised investors to closely monitor export company stocks. The investment bank also projected that domestic firms' average operating incomes would rise by 21 percent this year and 14 percent in 2008.

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south_korea

North Korea to Receive Additional KRW 37.4 Billion Aid from Seoul

The Republic of Korea will pledged an additional KRW 37.4 billion worth of material and equipment for flood relief in North Korea. This new package consists of a hundred thousand tons of cement, five thousand tons of iron rods, 80 trucks and 500 tons of light oil.

According to an announcement on Friday by Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung, the Republic of Korea will pledged an additional KRW 37.4 billion worth of material and equipment for flood relief in North Korea. This new package consists of a hundred thousand tons of cement, five thousand tons of iron rods, 80 trucks and 500 tons of light oil, which will be provided on top of the emergency supply aid valued at KRW 7.5 billion that began shipping on Thursday.

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south_korea

South Korea to Establish KRW 200 Billion Carbon Fund

In an attempt by the Republic of Korea's government to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the Commerce, Industry and Energy Ministry has established a KRW 200 Billion carbon fund geared to finance commercial greenhouse gas reduction programs.

In an attempt by the Republic of Korea's government to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the Commerce, Industry and Energy Ministry has established a KRW 200 Billion carbon fund geared to finance commercial greenhouse gas reduction programs. Officials at the ministry noted that the fund will also be used to finance renewable energy programs that will focus on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and recovering methane gas from landfills. The fund will be created using the "capital call method," whereby funds are pooled together every time an investment opportunity is presented.

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south_korea

ROK: Stock Indices Gain on Eased Global Subprime Concerns

On Wednesday, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, which is a series of indices that track the overall Korean Stock Exchange (KRX), gained 23 points, or one-point-three percent, to near 1760. The tech heavy Kosdaq index also experienced gains on Wednesday as it climbed 13.5 points to close just over 741. Analysts attribute much of the gains to improvement in the sentiment of investors amid news that the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman and high ranking policymakers intend to assiduously work to defuse the U.S. subprime mortgage woes.

On Wednesday, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, which is a series of indices that track the overall Korean Stock Exchange (KRX), gained 23 points, or one-point-three percent, to near 1760. The tech heavy Kosdaq index also experienced gains on Wednesday as it climbed 13.5 points to close just over 741. Analysts attribute much of the gains to improvement in the sentiment of investors amid news that the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman and high ranking policymakers intend to assiduously work to defuse the U.S. subprime mortgage woes.

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south_korea

Growth Forecasts for ROK Remain Amid Credit Crunch

The Korean economy is expected to grown no more than 4.4 percent this year, according to the Korea Economic Research Institute, an affiliate of the Federation of Korean Industries. Despite improved performance by Korean firms in the second quarter, the report cites the U.S. subprime mortgage woes, yen carry trading and other instability factors in the domestic and global financial markets to offset any increased performance. Holding their annual growth forecast steady, the institute said that unlike previous estimates, growth in the second half of the year will likely fall a tenth of a percentage point from previous expectations.

The Korean economy is expected to grown no more than 4.4 percent this year, according to the Korea Economic Research Institute, an affiliate of the Federation of Korean Industries. Despite improved performance by Korean firms in the second quarter, the report cites the U.S. subprime mortgage woes, yen carry trading and other instability factors in the domestic and global financial markets to offset any increased performance. Holding their annual growth forecast steady, the institute said that unlike previous estimates, growth in the second half of the year will likely fall a tenth of a percentage point from previous expectations.

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south_korea

South Korean Companies Experience 20 Percent Profit Surge in 1st Half

The Korea Exchange (KRX) announced that the combined net profits of the 540 listed companies have increase roughly 20 percent in the first half of 2007 relative to last year's period. The agglomerated net profits of the aforementioned companies totaled close to KRW 27.2 trillion. Analysts contribute the spike to increased growth in sales for the manufacturing sector, specifically in shipbuilding, chemicals, steelmaking and metals.

The Korea Exchange (KRX) announced that the combined net profits of the 540 listed companies have increase roughly 20 percent in the first half of 2007 relative to last year's period. The agglomerated net profits of the aforementioned companies totaled close to KRW 27.2 trillion. Analysts contribute the spike to increased growth in sales for the manufacturing sector, specifically in shipbuilding, chemicals, steelmaking and metals.

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south_korea

South Korea And Other Asian Stock Markets Take A Tumble

The office o0f South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun urged investors on Thursday not to overreact to the global financial-market instability triggered by the subprime-mortgage crisis in the United States, but no one was listening, neither in South Korea nor the rest of Asia.

South Korea's stocks plunged 6.93%, with the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Indesx (KOSPI) plummeting 135.91 points to 1,691.98. The South Korean currency closed at 946.2 won to USD 1 dollar, declining 13.7 won from the previous close. Offshore investors scrambled to purchase US dollars after dumping shares in the local market.

The office o0f South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun urged investors on Thursday not to overreact to the global financial-market instability triggered by the subprime-mortgage crisis in the United States, but no one was listening, neither in South Korea nor the rest of Asia.

South Korea's stocks plunged 6.93%, with the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Indesx (KOSPI) plummeting 135.91 points to 1,691.98. The South Korean currency closed at 946.2 won to USD 1 dollar, declining 13.7 won from the previous close. Offshore investors scrambled to purchase US dollars after dumping shares in the local market.

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south_korea

Korea Exchange Report States Performance of S. Korea Stock Market Among The Best In The World

In a recent report issued by the Korea Exchange, the S. Korea stock markets, Korea Composite Stock Price Index and the Korea Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, placed as the third and fourth best performing stock markets in the world. In its report, the Korea Exchange analyzed the fluctuations of the 44 stock markets in the world. The Korea Exchange noted that while the U.S. subprime mortgage turmoil threatens the global stock market, Korean shares have given a relatively stable performance this year.

In a recent report issued by the Korea Exchange, the S. Korea stock markets, Korea Composite Stock Price Index and the Korea Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, placed as the third and fourth best performing stock markets in the world. In its report, the Korea Exchange analyzed the fluctuations of the 44 stock markets in the world. The Korea Exchange noted that while the U.S. subprime mortgage turmoil threatens the global stock market, Korean shares have given a relatively stable performance this year.

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south_korea

Inter-Korean Summit to Benefit Both Economies

The second inter-Korean summit will take place August 28-30 in order to expand and improve economic cooperation projects. The summit will be an excellent opportunity for both countries, which are technically still at war, to discuss economic strategies and dispel many of the uncertainties that have arisen in the international community relating to the Koreas.

The second inter-Korean summit will take place August 28-30 in order to expand and improve economic cooperation projects. The summit will be an excellent opportunity for both countries, which are technically still at war, to discuss economic strategies and dispel many of the uncertainties that have arisen in the international community relating to the Koreas.

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south_korea

Signs for Upward Trend Economy in South Korea

According to the Ministry of Finance, the South Korean Economy shows clear signs of recovery. Stated indicators are in particular gains in domestic demands and exports. The published report on national economic trends further explains brisk exports, and improving domestic consumption and capital investment as reasons for the ongoing trend.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the South Korean Economy shows clear signs of recovery. Stated indicators are in particular gains in domestic demands and exports. The published report on national economic trends further explains brisk exports, and improving domestic consumption and capital investment as reasons for the ongoing trend.

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south_korea

5,500 Pakistani Workers Being Trained For South Korean Market

Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) reported that South Korea is expected to import 5,500 skilled Pakistani workers this year. OEC has trained over 3,800 workers so far about Korean language and culture and the remaining laborers will be trained soon. After the training is completed, a Korean delegation will visit Pakistan to hold tests for recruited applicants. OEC has urged individuals to avoid unauthorized technical trade centers and private agents who are misleading people for employment in Korea.

Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) reported that South Korea is expected to import 5,500 skilled Pakistani workers this year. OEC has trained over 3,800 workers so far about Korean language and culture and the remaining laborers will be trained soon. After the training is completed, a Korean delegation will visit Pakistan to hold tests for recruited applicants. OEC has urged individuals to avoid unauthorized technical trade centers and private agents who are misleading people for employment in Korea.

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south_korea

South Korean KOSPI Sees Second Largest Gain in Asia

The South Korean Stock Market saw the second largest gain after that of China in the first seven months of this year, rising 34.77 percent. China's main market listed stock rose 67.11 percent. As of yesterday, foreign investors owned 32.7 percent of Seoul stock listed on the main South Korea Composite Stock Price Index and Kosdaq, substantially down from 44.14 percent in April 2004. Further, Market experts assume that the decision of North and South Korea to hold a summit for the first time in seven years will have a short-term positive impact on the stock market.

The South Korean Stock Market saw the second largest gain after that of China in the first seven months of this year, rising 34.77 percent. China's main market listed stock rose 67.11 percent. As of yesterday, foreign investors owned 32.7 percent of Seoul stock listed on the main South Korea Composite Stock Price Index and Kosdaq, substantially down from 44.14 percent in April 2004. Further, Market experts assume that the decision of North and South Korea to hold a summit for the first time in seven years will have a short-term positive impact on the stock market.

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Myanmar and South Korea Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), workers from Myanmar will be able to work in South Korea under the new government program Employment Permit System (EPS). Choi Kwang-jin, first secretary at the Korean Embassy, said last week: "So far, the Korean Ministry of Labor has signed MoUs with nine countries to recruit laborers - the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China, Cambodia and Pakistan."

Under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), workers from Myanmar will be able to work in South Korea under the new government program Employment Permit System (EPS). Choi Kwang-jin, first secretary at the Korean Embassy, said last week: "So far, the Korean Ministry of Labor has signed MoUs with nine countries to recruit laborers - the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China, Cambodia and Pakistan."

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US Senator Seeks Damage Report on Banned Beef Sales in S. Korea

Max Baucus, a senior US senator who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, has requested a review of the damage to the American beef market from what he calls "persistent unfair bans" by foreign importers such as South Korea and Japan. Recently South Korean banned US beef sales due to the discovery of part of the cow's vertebre, which may link to the mad cow disease, in the shipment of boneless meat. In the letter sent to the US International Trade Commission (ITC), he asked the US government to further investigate the issue. Further, he argues that the ban on US beef sales in South Korea and Japan are not based on solid science.

Max Baucus, a senior US senator who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, has requested a review of the damage to the American beef market from what he calls "persistent unfair bans" by foreign importers such as South Korea and Japan. Recently South Korean banned US beef sales due to the discovery of part of the cow's vertebre, which may link to the mad cow disease, in the shipment of boneless meat. In the letter sent to the US International Trade Commission (ITC), he asked the US government to further investigate the issue. Further, he argues that the ban on US beef sales in South Korea and Japan are not based on solid science.

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South Korean Businesses Welcome Inter-Korean Summit

The South Korean business community welcomed the planned second inter-Korean summit, expecting it to open new opportunities for economic cooperation with North Korea. The Federation of Korean Industry and other leading business organizations hope that the summit will create a peaceful atmosphere for business conducts, will also eliminate geopolitical risks surrounding the Korean peninsula, and will help reinvigorate the economies of both countries.

The South Korean business community welcomed the planned second inter-Korean summit, expecting it to open new opportunities for economic cooperation with North Korea. The Federation of Korean Industry and other leading business organizations hope that the summit will create a peaceful atmosphere for business conducts, will also eliminate geopolitical risks surrounding the Korean peninsula, and will help reinvigorate the economies of both countries.

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ROK: The Central Bank Holds Interest Rate

South Korean Central Bank (BOK) will probably hold the key interest rate at the current level at 4.75 percent as policy makers wait to see how last month's increase affects lending in Asia's third-largest economy. Growth of USD 887 billion in South Korean economy is picking up pace, and rising inflation pressure leaves the door open for further interest rate's increase; however, concern over the US sub-prime loan crisis and a worldwide slump in stocks may buy policy makers some time before raising borrowing costs.

South Korean Central Bank (BOK) will probably hold the key interest rate at the current level at 4.75 percent as policy makers wait to see how last month's increase affects lending in Asia's third-largest economy. Growth of USD 887 billion in South Korean economy is picking up pace, and rising inflation pressure leaves the door open for further interest rate's increase; however, concern over the US sub-prime loan crisis and a worldwide slump in stocks may buy policy makers some time before raising borrowing costs.

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ROK: Volatility in Seoul Stock Market Worries Investors

Volatility in the Seoul Stock Market has been increasing in recent week as news of the US credit market deterioration triggered investor anxiety across the globe, causing foreign investors to trade local shares for safer investment. In South Korea, the volatility in Seoul's main stock market has increased 3.37 percent this month from 1.7 percent in July. While the foreign investors have been selling Seoul stocks for the 17 consecutive days, local retails and institutional investors continued to fuel the market on a more positive look of the local economy and equity performance.

Volatility in the Seoul Stock Market has been increasing in recent week as news of the US credit market deterioration triggered investor anxiety across the globe, causing foreign investors to trade local shares for safer investment. In South Korea, the volatility in Seoul's main stock market has increased 3.37 percent this month from 1.7 percent in July. While the foreign investors have been selling Seoul stocks for the 17 consecutive days, local retails and institutional investors continued to fuel the market on a more positive look of the local economy and equity performance.

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South Korea to Boost Oil and Gas Production

South Korea plans to increase its self sufficiency rate in oil and gas to 28 percent within the next nine years by expanding offshore production. The plan calls for the government to increase its midterm production capacity goal of all gas and crude to 20 percent from 18 percent by 2013, while boosting its self-sufficiency rate to 50 percent for soft coal and 30 percent for iron ore. South Korean Vice Energy Minister Lee Jae-hoon said that state money will also be used to improve technological capabilities at the state-run Korea National Oil Corporation.

South Korea plans to increase its self sufficiency rate in oil and gas to 28 percent within the next nine years by expanding offshore production. The plan calls for the government to increase its midterm production capacity goal of all gas and crude to 20 percent from 18 percent by 2013, while boosting its self-sufficiency rate to 50 percent for soft coal and 30 percent for iron ore. South Korean Vice Energy Minister Lee Jae-hoon said that state money will also be used to improve technological capabilities at the state-run Korea National Oil Corporation.

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South Korea Advised to Seek Economic Cooperation

The Samsung Economics Research Institute advised South Korea to seal a free trade agreement pact with North Korea that will lead for future inter-Korean economic relation; the Institute cited China-Hong Kong free trade pact, and it mentioned that this pact helped the special administrative region overcome an economic slump and also contributed to its economic integration with the mainland.

The Samsung Economics Research Institute advised South Korea to seal a free trade agreement pact with North Korea that will lead for future inter-Korean economic relation; the Institute cited China-Hong Kong free trade pact, and it mentioned that this pact helped the special administrative region overcome an economic slump and also contributed to its economic integration with the mainland.

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ROK: Six Party Economic Working Group Meeting Opens

The six-party working group (South Korea, North Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and Japan) on economic and energy aid to North Korea opened in the truce village of Panmunjeom, South Korea on Tuesday. At the meeting North Korea is expected to talk about what it wants to receive in return for implementing second-phase measure to disable its nuclear facilities. North Korea will be given economic and energy aid equivalent to 950 thousand tons of heavy fuel oil if it completes the nuclear facilities' disablement under February's denuclearization agreement.

The six-party working group (South Korea, North Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and Japan) on economic and energy aid to North Korea opened in the truce village of Panmunjeom, South Korea on Tuesday. At the meeting North Korea is expected to talk about what it wants to receive in return for implementing second-phase measure to disable its nuclear facilities. North Korea will be given economic and energy aid equivalent to 950 thousand tons of heavy fuel oil if it completes the nuclear facilities' disablement under February's denuclearization agreement.

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ROK: Overseas Remittance Nears USD 4 Billion

South Korea's overseas non-current transaction remittance, the money outflow unrelated to trading activities, increases to USD 4 billion in the first half of this year, said the Korean Central bank (BOK). Koreans remitted USD 3.99 billion overseas in the first six months of this year, up 10.2 percent from a year ago. the majority of the money was sent as living expenses for family members residing overseas. The Central Bank speculated that the remittance will reach USD 8 billion due to the increase in number of South Korean nationals studying and undergoing professional educations overseas.

South Korea's overseas non-current transaction remittance, the money outflow unrelated to trading activities, increases to USD 4 billion in the first half of this year, said the Korean Central bank (BOK). Koreans remitted USD 3.99 billion overseas in the first six months of this year, up 10.2 percent from a year ago. the majority of the money was sent as living expenses for family members residing overseas. The Central Bank speculated that the remittance will reach USD 8 billion due to the increase in number of South Korean nationals studying and undergoing professional educations overseas.

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South Korean Exports to Break Record

The South Korean Commerce Ministry said that despite a strengthening of the won and the increase in energy prices, South Korea is on pace for yet another record breaking year of exports due to solid gains in shipbuilding, semiconductor, and petrochemical sectors. Exports, as of July, posted USD 208.8 billion, up 15 percent from a year earlier; the commerce ministry expects that the export target of USD 367 billion will be achieved before the end of the year. This exports increase is attributed to market diversification and growing trade with BRIC countries (Brazil, China, India, and Russia), South American countries, and members of ASEAN.

The South Korean Commerce Ministry said that despite a strengthening of the won and the increase in energy prices, South Korea is on pace for yet another record breaking year of exports due to solid gains in shipbuilding, semiconductor, and petrochemical sectors. Exports, as of July, posted USD 208.8 billion, up 15 percent from a year earlier; the commerce ministry expects that the export target of USD 367 billion will be achieved before the end of the year. This exports increase is attributed to market diversification and growing trade with BRIC countries (Brazil, China, India, and Russia), South American countries, and members of ASEAN.

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ROK: FSC Heads to Prepare for Capital Market Consolidation

New South Korean Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Kim Yong-duk said that the integration of capital market will ease the financial firms to enter or exit the industry and to encourage companies to grow larger by mergers and acquisitions or asset accumulation. The Capital market Consolidation Act that enters into effect in January 2009, aims to slash the barriers separating the banking, securities, and insurance industries, allowing brokerages, future traders, and asset manager to engage in each other's businesses.

New South Korean Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Kim Yong-duk said that the integration of capital market will ease the financial firms to enter or exit the industry and to encourage companies to grow larger by mergers and acquisitions or asset accumulation. The Capital market Consolidation Act that enters into effect in January 2009, aims to slash the barriers separating the banking, securities, and insurance industries, allowing brokerages, future traders, and asset manager to engage in each other's businesses.

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South Korea to Seek FTA with Australia

South Korean Finance Minister, Kwon O-kyu has ordered senior officials to seek a free trade agreement with Australia. Kwon O-kyu stated that as the two countries stand poised to release the results of joint study on a possible bilateral free trade agreement, the officials should prepare an FTA talks if such a deal is found to be beneficial for both countries. South Korea is major importer of Australian livestocks and raw material products.

South Korean Finance Minister, Kwon O-kyu has ordered senior officials to seek a free trade agreement with Australia. Kwon O-kyu stated that as the two countries stand poised to release the results of joint study on a possible bilateral free trade agreement, the officials should prepare an FTA talks if such a deal is found to be beneficial for both countries. South Korea is major importer of Australian livestocks and raw material products.

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ROK: US Beef Sales Falling

Sales of US beef are declining at large domestic outlets in South Korea after pieces of backbone, which regarded as at risk of carrying mad cow disease, were found in the shipment a week ago. Despite vacation demand, sales of American beef continue to fall; however, the outlets still plan to sell the meat until they run out.

Sales of US beef are declining at large domestic outlets in South Korea after pieces of backbone, which regarded as at risk of carrying mad cow disease, were found in the shipment a week ago. Despite vacation demand, sales of American beef continue to fall; however, the outlets still plan to sell the meat until they run out.

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ROK: No Change in Real Estate Policy Post-Election?

Experts in South Korea rule out the possibility of a post-election change in real estate policy, the stringent taxation and tighter mortgage loan regulations. The IBK Economic Research Institute said that although the ongoing house price decline seen in Seoul and surrounding areas will continue in the second half of this year, the housing price will not fall substantially since some speculative buyers still exist in the market.

Experts in South Korea rule out the possibility of a post-election change in real estate policy, the stringent taxation and tighter mortgage loan regulations. The IBK Economic Research Institute said that although the ongoing house price decline seen in Seoul and surrounding areas will continue in the second half of this year, the housing price will not fall substantially since some speculative buyers still exist in the market.

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ROK: No Change in Real Estate Policy Post-Election?

Experts in South Korea rule out post-election change in real estate policy, the stringent taxation and tighter mortgage loan regulations will remain the same. The IBK Economic Research Institute said that although the ongoing house price decline seen in Seoul and surrounding areas will continue in the second half of this year, the housing price will not fall substantially since some speculative buyers still exist in the market.

Experts in South Korea rule out post-election change in real estate policy, the stringent taxation and tighter mortgage loan regulations will remain the same. The IBK Economic Research Institute said that although the ongoing house price decline seen in Seoul and surrounding areas will continue in the second half of this year, the housing price will not fall substantially since some speculative buyers still exist in the market.

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ROK: Credit Card Spending Hits Record High in July

Credit card spending in South Korea hit a monthly historic high in July, amounting to KRW 21.52 trillion (USD 23.34 billion) surpassing the previous record of KRW 21.48 trillion in last year's December. July credit card spending this year was 18.42 percent higher than it was in the same period last year. The Finance Ministry said that robust consumer spending, an increase in facility investments, and higher prices for the nation's major export items signify an improving economy.

Credit card spending in South Korea hit a monthly historic high in July, amounting to KRW 21.52 trillion (USD 23.34 billion) surpassing the previous record of KRW 21.48 trillion in last year's December. July credit card spending this year was 18.42 percent higher than it was in the same period last year. The Finance Ministry said that robust consumer spending, an increase in facility investments, and higher prices for the nation's major export items signify an improving economy.

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South Korean Central Bank Cautious Over Interest rates Hike

According to market analysts, the South Korean Central Bank (BOK) is likely to maintain the current overnight call rate at 4.75 percent; however, growing liquidity, a 4 percent increase of the consumer price index in July compared to previous month, and an economic recovery all signal an interest rate hike in near future. Some economists concerned that the rising credit defaults of American debtors could seriously impact the South Korean economy, which relies heavily on exports to the US market.

According to market analysts, the South Korean Central Bank (BOK) is likely to maintain the current overnight call rate at 4.75 percent; however, growing liquidity, a 4 percent increase of the consumer price index in July compared to previous month, and an economic recovery all signal an interest rate hike in near future. Some economists concerned that the rising credit defaults of American debtors could seriously impact the South Korean economy, which relies heavily on exports to the US market.

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ROK: Central Bank to Restrict Forex Lending

South Korean Central Bank, The Bank of Korea (BOK) plan to restrict its foreign currency lending in order to curb the appreciation of Korean Won. The BOK said that foreign currency loans increase overseas borrowing and put pressure on the country's currency. The Won has raised 11 percent against the US dollar in the past two years. The appreciation of won (KRW) raises the price of Korean goods abroad, eroding the value of overseas sales, and causing Korean exporters less competitive in global market.

South Korean Central Bank, The Bank of Korea (BOK) plan to restrict its foreign currency lending in order to curb the appreciation of Korean Won. The BOK said that foreign currency loans increase overseas borrowing and put pressure on the country's currency. The Won has raised 11 percent against the US dollar in the past two years. The appreciation of won (KRW) raises the price of Korean goods abroad, eroding the value of overseas sales, and causing Korean exporters less competitive in global market.

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India Approves Plans for South Korean Steel Plant

The Indian government has approved plans and has given environmental clearance for a USD 12 billion steel plant to be built in Orissa, a state on the eastern coast of India. South Korea's POSCO will operate the project that will be India's largest direct foreign investment (FDI) project. The clearance comes after POSCO met opposition from local villagers because the plant could possibly displace up to 20,000 villagers.

The Indian government has approved plans and has given environmental clearance for a USD 12 billion steel plant to be built in Orissa, a state on the eastern coast of India. South Korea's POSCO will operate the project that will be India's largest direct foreign investment (FDI) project. The clearance comes after POSCO met opposition from local villagers because the plant could possibly displace up to 20,000 villagers.

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ROK: Suspended Beef Inspections are Outside the KORUS Free Trade Agreement

South Korea Agriculture Minister said that the suspension of quarantine inspections of U.S beef imports is not related to the Korea - US free trade agreement. The government took the measure because the distribution of US beef should be suspended until it determines how bone part turned up in a recent shipment of boneless beef. The bone part found is the vertebral column that is considered high-risk bone material linked to mad cow disease.

South Korea Agriculture Minister said that the suspension of quarantine inspections of U.S beef imports is not related to the Korea - US free trade agreement. The government took the measure because the distribution of US beef should be suspended until it determines how bone part turned up in a recent shipment of boneless beef. The bone part found is the vertebral column that is considered high-risk bone material linked to mad cow disease.

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LG Economic Research Institute: 'Korean Stocks Are Not Overvalued'

The LG Economic Research Institute analyzed potential growth in South Korea and, while comparing stock and bond earnings with issues in other countries, has concluded that Korean Stocks are not overvalued. The institute released a report that cited a survey of price-earning ratio of world countries tallied by the Financial Times, which found that South Korea's PER was 12.6 as of July 27, only two thirds of the global average PER of 18.8.

The LG Economic Research Institute analyzed potential growth in South Korea and, while comparing stock and bond earnings with issues in other countries, has concluded that Korean Stocks are not overvalued. The institute released a report that cited a survey of price-earning ratio of world countries tallied by the Financial Times, which found that South Korea's PER was 12.6 as of July 27, only two thirds of the global average PER of 18.8.

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South Korea and Japan Conclude Open Sky Agreement

South Korea and Japan have agreed to liberalize aviation so that both passengers and freight can fly freely between Japan and South Korea, except for flights serving Tokyo. Previously, Japan had limited the service to certain cities, but now Korean airlines may choose the times and locations wherever international flight is possible.

South Korea and Japan have agreed to liberalize aviation so that both passengers and freight can fly freely between Japan and South Korea, except for flights serving Tokyo. Previously, Japan had limited the service to certain cities, but now Korean airlines may choose the times and locations wherever international flight is possible.

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End of Commerce - Banking Separation in South Korea

The South Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on the government to ban the regulations that keep conglomerates away from the banking industry. The country's financial sector needs commercial capital supply in order to compete globally. The outgoing Finance Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman, Yoon Jeung-hyun argues that the separation of commerce and banking stands in the way of Korea developing globally competitive financiers and fostering its local capital market.

The South Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on the government to ban the regulations that keep conglomerates away from the banking industry. The country's financial sector needs commercial capital supply in order to compete globally. The outgoing Finance Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman, Yoon Jeung-hyun argues that the separation of commerce and banking stands in the way of Korea developing globally competitive financiers and fostering its local capital market.

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South Korean Price Cap Affecting Property Market

According to reports, many developers in South Korea are expediting construction of their projects before the government activates the price cap on the property market. The price ceiling was put into legislation earlier this year by the National Assembly in order to cool the overheated property market but has forced developers to cut costs to maintain their profit margins. The Construction Ministry estimates the regulation will cut the price of a new apartment by roughly 20 to 25 percent, which will reduce the overall real estate price in the coming year.

According to reports, many developers in South Korea are expediting construction of their projects before the government activates the price cap on the property market. The price ceiling was put into legislation earlier this year by the National Assembly in order to cool the overheated property market but has forced developers to cut costs to maintain their profit margins. The Construction Ministry estimates the regulation will cut the price of a new apartment by roughly 20 to 25 percent, which will reduce the overall real estate price in the coming year.

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Indonesian Minister Embarks on Nuclear Energy Mission to South Korea and Japan

Dr. Carunia Mulya Firdausy, the Indonesian Minister of Research and Technology, has embarked on a 10-day working mission with the Ministry of Economic, Trade and Industrial Affairs (METI) to oversee Japanese and Korean nuclear energy development and control. Dr. Firdausy stated that this is the time for Indonesia to learn from both South Korea and Japan in order to implement the development of a nuclear energy program. Through scouring new forms of renewable energy, Dr. Firdausy commented that Indonesia can no longer depend simply on oil and alternative sources of energy need to be explored.

Dr. Carunia Mulya Firdausy, the Indonesian Minister of Research and Technology, has embarked on a 10-day working mission with the Ministry of Economic, Trade and Industrial Affairs (METI) to oversee Japanese and Korean nuclear energy development and control. Dr. Firdausy stated that this is the time for Indonesia to learn from both South Korea and Japan in order to implement the development of a nuclear energy program. Through scouring new forms of renewable energy, Dr. Firdausy commented that Indonesia can no longer depend simply on oil and alternative sources of energy need to be explored.

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ROK Exports Increase 20 Percent in July

The nation's export grew to 20 percent year-on-year in July, maintaining double-digit growth for an 18th straight month. The Commerce Ministry official said that growing exports of cars, steel, semiconductors, and mobile communication equipment are positive signs that the nation's exports will continue to improve in the second half.

The nation's export grew to 20 percent year-on-year in July, maintaining double-digit growth for an 18th straight month. The Commerce Ministry official said that growing exports of cars, steel, semiconductors, and mobile communication equipment are positive signs that the nation's exports will continue to improve in the second half.

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Seoul Stocks are Down

South Korean stock prices are down due to heavy foreign selling spurred by an overnight plunge on Wall Street. The composite index and technology index fell because of this heavy selling.

South Korean stock prices are down due to heavy foreign selling spurred by an overnight plunge on Wall Street. The composite index and technology index fell because of this heavy selling.

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Laos to Export Wood Products for Korean Truck Factory

Lao Furniture Industry Factory plans to export 10,800 cubic meters of wood products for truck parts to South Korean importer, Samwoo Company Limited. These exports will be worth about USD 47.4 million and are part of long-term purchase agreement between the two companies. Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce is pleased to see a local producer gaining access to the international market, especially when in the recent past Laos mainly exported raw or semi-processed materials.

Lao Furniture Industry Factory plans to export 10,800 cubic meters of wood products for truck parts to South Korean importer, Samwoo Company Limited. These exports will be worth about USD 47.4 million and are part of long-term purchase agreement between the two companies. Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce is pleased to see a local producer gaining access to the international market, especially when in the recent past Laos mainly exported raw or semi-processed materials.

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ROK: Soul Shares are Down

Foreign Investors sold a total net of nearly KRW 4.7 trillions worth of Seoul shares in July alone, bringing the South Korea Composite Stock Price Index down from its historical peak reached earlier last week. Many market analyst in South Korea believes that the Korean shares are no longer cheap for foreign investors. Despite this, memory chip shares are still in favor to attract foreign investors.

Foreign Investors sold a total net of nearly KRW 4.7 trillions worth of Seoul shares in July alone, bringing the South Korea Composite Stock Price Index down from its historical peak reached earlier last week. Many market analyst in South Korea believes that the Korean shares are no longer cheap for foreign investors. Despite this, memory chip shares are still in favor to attract foreign investors.

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Korean Overseas Property Investment Increases 70 Percent in First Half

South Korea's corporate and private investors are directing more resources to overseas real estate development projects. The Finance Ministry announced the semi-total investment for overseas real estate investment increases 70 percent this year compared to last year. In addition, this increase is attributed to the easing of government's regulations concerning overseas investment earlier this year.

South Korea's corporate and private investors are directing more resources to overseas real estate development projects. The Finance Ministry announced the semi-total investment for overseas real estate investment increases 70 percent this year compared to last year. In addition, this increase is attributed to the easing of government's regulations concerning overseas investment earlier this year.

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ROK: Service Output in June Hits the Nation's Highest Since 2002

June Service Output in South Korea hit the highest output growth since 2002. The National Statistical Office says that the service output in June grew 7.5 percent year on year. Strong growth is seen particularly in the finance and insurance sectors.

June Service Output in South Korea hit the highest output growth since 2002. The National Statistical Office says that the service output in June grew 7.5 percent year on year. Strong growth is seen particularly in the finance and insurance sectors.

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South Korea's Stock Market to Continue Bullish Rally

The South Korean stock market is supposed to continue its rally after a short-term technical correction. A Senior Market Strategist at Daewoo Securities Co. said that a paradigm shift within the local investment culture - the growing preference for equities - will continue to fuel the market's upward momentum. Recent gains were based on rapid reallocation of assets from the property market.

The South Korean stock market is supposed to continue its rally after a short-term technical correction. A Senior Market Strategist at Daewoo Securities Co. said that a paradigm shift within the local investment culture - the growing preference for equities - will continue to fuel the market's upward momentum. Recent gains were based on rapid reallocation of assets from the property market.

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Korea Seeks to Golf to Reduce Service Trade Deficit

The Korean Ministry of Finance and Economics said that it will implement measures to promote the construction of golf courses and develop the country's maritime leisure industry in order to reduce the service trade deficit. The government also plans to ease the regulations concerning the use of local harbors by foreign cruise ships and reinforcing safety-related measures to enhance the development of maritime leisure industry.

The Korean Ministry of Finance and Economics said that it will implement measures to promote the construction of golf courses and develop the country's maritime leisure industry in order to reduce the service trade deficit. The government also plans to ease the regulations concerning the use of local harbors by foreign cruise ships and reinforcing safety-related measures to enhance the development of maritime leisure industry.

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Sout Korea: Trade Balance with US, China, Japan Declines

The Korean trade balance with the United States, China, and Japan is weakening although its overall trade situation remains strong. The Korea Custom Service has reported the increase in South Korea's trade deficit with Japan, the decrease in nation's trade surplus with China, and also declines in the US bound exporting rate.

The Korean trade balance with the United States, China, and Japan is weakening although its overall trade situation remains strong. The Korea Custom Service has reported the increase in South Korea's trade deficit with Japan, the decrease in nation's trade surplus with China, and also declines in the US bound exporting rate.

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Business Outlook in South Korea for August Improves

A large number of companies reported positive outlooks for the country's economy. Investment, manufacturing, employment, exports and domestic consumptions are expected to improve although prospects in regards to financing are not always good.

A large number of companies reported positive outlooks for the country's economy. Investment, manufacturing, employment, exports and domestic consumptions are expected to improve although prospects in regards to financing are not always good.

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Production and Investment in South Korea Continues Brightstreak

The nation's output and investment picked up overall in June, but the consumption has slowed. The industrial output index has increased 1.9 percent compared to last month and a 7.6 rise year on year. This increase is due to strong exports of liquid crystal displays and semiconductors. The facility and composite indexes also increased in June.

The nation's output and investment picked up overall in June, but the consumption has slowed. The industrial output index has increased 1.9 percent compared to last month and a 7.6 rise year on year. This increase is due to strong exports of liquid crystal displays and semiconductors. The facility and composite indexes also increased in June.

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US Beef Sales Affect Korean Cattle Prices

The widespread sale of U.S. beef has brought down the price of Korean cattle. The fall in Korean cattle prices is due to farmer's widespread concerns over the brisk sales of U.S. beef.

The widespread sale of U.S. beef has brought down the price of Korean cattle. The fall in Korean cattle prices is due to farmer's widespread concerns over the brisk sales of U.S. beef.

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Asian Stocks Plunge as US Housing Slump Deepens

Asian stocks extended a rout that erased USD 1.3 trillion in global market value yesterday, as the Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index slipped 3 percent to hit 154.45 at 7:33 pm in Tokyo. It is the index's largest decline since March 5 and worst weekly performance of the year. All markets in the region declined with the exception of China. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 2.4 percent, while the benchmark indices of South Korea (Kospi) and Taiwan (Taiex) both dropping more than 4 percent.

Asian stocks extended a rout that erased USD 1.3 trillion in global market value yesterday, as the Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index slipped 3 percent to hit 154.45 at 7:33 pm in Tokyo. It is the index's largest decline since March 5 and worst weekly performance of the year. All markets in the region declined with the exception of China. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 2.4 percent, while the benchmark indices of South Korea (Kospi) and Taiwan (Taiex) both dropping more than 4 percent.

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BHP Billiton, Miners Pace Asia-Pacific Index Losses

Slumping metal prices led Australian mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. to complete its largest 2-day drop in nearly 5 months, joining miners across the region as the industry dragged down the regional benchmark index. Japan's Nippon Electric Glass Co. and Advantest Corp. fell as well, hurt by a downward adjustment in their earnings reports. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index declined by 1.2 percent, hitting 158.64 at 6:04 pm in Tokyo. The key indexes of Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia, all posters of record highs earlier in the week, declined on Thursday. Benchmarks in South Korea and Taiwan suffered their largest declines in over 4 months.

Slumping metal prices led Australian mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. to complete its largest 2-day drop in nearly 5 months, joining miners across the region as the industry dragged down the regional benchmark index. Japan's Nippon Electric Glass Co. and Advantest Corp. fell as well, hurt by a downward adjustment in their earnings reports. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index declined by 1.2 percent, hitting 158.64 at 6:04 pm in Tokyo. The key indexes of Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia, all posters of record highs earlier in the week, declined on Thursday. Benchmarks in South Korea and Taiwan suffered their largest declines in over 4 months.

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south_korea

Foreign Companies Invest in Vietnam's Steel Industry

Vietnam's steel industry is attracting foreign investors because of strong domestic demand that is growing by 40 percent per year. India's Tata Group, one is the largest international steel companies, will operate a USD 3.5 billion facility in Vietnam that will produce 4.5 million tons of steel per year. Other steel companies including Korea's Posco Group, India's Essar, and Taiwan's Tycoons and E-United are all investing in Vietnam's growing steel industry.

Vietnam's steel industry is attracting foreign investors because of strong domestic demand that is growing by 40 percent per year. India's Tata Group, one is the largest international steel companies, will operate a USD 3.5 billion facility in Vietnam that will produce 4.5 million tons of steel per year. Other steel companies including Korea's Posco Group, India's Essar, and Taiwan's Tycoons and E-United are all investing in Vietnam's growing steel industry.

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Hyundai to Expand Production into Thailand

South Korean automaker Hyundai announced Wednesday its plans to expand into Thailand. This will be Hyundai's first investment in Thailand since 1997, when it pulled out because of the Asian Financial Crisis. The company has capitalized at about USD 12 million and plans to begin with the production of the Sonata. President of Hyundai Motors Yoshizumi Kurada said he hopes the move will help penetrate the automobile market and strengthen customer confidence in Hyundai.

South Korean automaker Hyundai announced Wednesday its plans to expand into Thailand. This will be Hyundai's first investment in Thailand since 1997, when it pulled out because of the Asian Financial Crisis. The company has capitalized at about USD 12 million and plans to begin with the production of the Sonata. President of Hyundai Motors Yoshizumi Kurada said he hopes the move will help penetrate the automobile market and strengthen customer confidence in Hyundai.

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Solid Earnings Drive Up Regional Asia-Pacific Benchmark

Better-than-expected earnings forecasts and profit reports at a number of Asia-Pacific's largest companies helped prop up the regional benchmark index on Tuesday. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index gained 0.9 percent to hit 161.36 points at 6:22 pm in Tokyo, erasing a slide of 0.4 percent yesterday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.2 percent and South Korea's Kospi index hit 2,000.00 points for the first time, while the markets in Pakistan and the Philippines regressed.

Better-than-expected earnings forecasts and profit reports at a number of Asia-Pacific's largest companies helped prop up the regional benchmark index on Tuesday. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index gained 0.9 percent to hit 161.36 points at 6:22 pm in Tokyo, erasing a slide of 0.4 percent yesterday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.2 percent and South Korea's Kospi index hit 2,000.00 points for the first time, while the markets in Pakistan and the Philippines regressed.

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Emloyment Agreement Penned between Nepal and South Korea

A new Labor Pact that has been recently signed by both the Nepal and South Korea Labor Ministers will open new opportunities for the Nepalis to work abroad in South Korea. This labor agreement may solidify bilateral relations between the two countries, while it may also reduce the unemployment rate in Nepal.

A new Labor Pact that has been recently signed by both the Nepal and South Korea Labor Ministers will open new opportunities for the Nepalis to work abroad in South Korea. This labor agreement may solidify bilateral relations between the two countries, while it may also reduce the unemployment rate in Nepal.

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Asia's Regional Benchmark Rises on Metal Prices, Earnings Reports

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index gained by 0.8 percent on Friday to close at 159.96, which exceeded the previous record close of 159.50 on July 13. China's CSI 300 Index out-performed all other indexes in the region with a 4.3 surge, with all other markets open for trading advancing as well. The region's top performers were paced by LG Electronics Inc., Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., BHP Billiton, and Nippon Steel Corp.

 

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index gained by 0.8 percent on Friday to close at 159.96, which exceeded the previous record close of 159.50 on July 13. China's CSI 300 Index out-performed all other indexes in the region with a 4.3 surge, with all other markets open for trading advancing as well. The region's top performers were paced by LG Electronics Inc., Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., BHP Billiton, and Nippon Steel Corp.

 

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Asia-Pacific Index Declines for Third Consecutive Day

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index slid 1 percent to close at 175.54 on Wednesday, a cumulative three-day decline of 1.2 percent. Only the markets of China, India, and the Philippines rose, with Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average sliding 1.1 percent and South Korea's Kospi index declining 1 percent. Concerns that losses at Bear Stearns Cos. hedge funds will prompt a shift in favor from equities to government bonds has been a major influence on the longest losing streak in 2 months.

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index slid 1 percent to close at 175.54 on Wednesday, a cumulative three-day decline of 1.2 percent. Only the markets of China, India, and the Philippines rose, with Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average sliding 1.1 percent and South Korea's Kospi index declining 1 percent. Concerns that losses at Bear Stearns Cos. hedge funds will prompt a shift in favor from equities to government bonds has been a major influence on the longest losing streak in 2 months.

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HSBC Expresses Interest in Korea Exchange Bank

Hong Kong's HSBC has contacted the US private equity fund Lone Star about its interest in taking a controlling stake in the Korea Exchange Bank. A deal with Lone Star, a "nonperforming loan investor", according to an analyst with an Asian investment bank, would be a positive move for HSBC's development, and help them to expand into emerging markets. The deal is estimated to cost at least USD 5 billion.

Hong Kong's HSBC has contacted the US private equity fund Lone Star about its interest in taking a controlling stake in the Korea Exchange Bank. A deal with Lone Star, a "nonperforming loan investor", according to an analyst with an Asian investment bank, would be a positive move for HSBC's development, and help them to expand into emerging markets. The deal is estimated to cost at least USD 5 billion.

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Japanese Tax on South Korean Chipmaker Ruled Illegal

The duty applied on computer chips from South Korean computer chip giant Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the world's largest memory-chip maker, has been ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Citing illegal export subsidies from the South Korean government, Japan imposed a 27.2 percent duty on the chip maker in January 2006, though Hynix insists there was no proof it was receiving such subsidies. Japan has not been ordered to drop the tax.

The duty applied on computer chips from South Korean computer chip giant Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the world's largest memory-chip maker, has been ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Citing illegal export subsidies from the South Korean government, Japan imposed a 27.2 percent duty on the chip maker in January 2006, though Hynix insists there was no proof it was receiving such subsidies. Japan has not been ordered to drop the tax.

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South Korea Begins Sending Oil to North Korea

On Thursday, the South Korean ship No. 9 Han Chang began its voyage to North Korea carrying 6,200 tons of heavy fuel oil. This shipment is the first to go to North Korea as part of an agreement with the U.S., China, Japan, Russia and South Korea. The agreement states that North Korea will shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor in return for 50,00 tons of oil aid. If North Korea disables all of its nuclear facilities, it will receive an additional 950,000 tons of energy aid.

On Thursday, the South Korean ship No. 9 Han Chang began its voyage to North Korea carrying 6,200 tons of heavy fuel oil. This shipment is the first to go to North Korea as part of an agreement with the U.S., China, Japan, Russia and South Korea. The agreement states that North Korea will shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor in return for 50,00 tons of oil aid. If North Korea disables all of its nuclear facilities, it will receive an additional 950,000 tons of energy aid.

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South Korea Automobile Workers Plan to Strike

Unionized GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. workers in South Korea plan to strike if they do not receive a wage increase. The union is seeking an 8.8% rise in wages for this year. In addition, the workers are seeking a special bonus payment as recognition for their contributions to the automaker's favorable performance last year.

Unionized GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. workers in South Korea plan to strike if they do not receive a wage increase. The union is seeking an 8.8% rise in wages for this year. In addition, the workers are seeking a special bonus payment as recognition for their contributions to the automaker's favorable performance last year.

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Bank of Korea: GDP Growth Forecast Increases

Due to an increase in exports and consumer spending, South Korea's central bank raised its 2007 GDP forecast from 4.4 percent to 4.5 percent. The economy grew at 5 percent in 2006. Strong growth, however, may lead the central bank to raise interest rates to reduce lending and inflation. In 2006, borrowing costs were raised three times.

Due to an increase in exports and consumer spending, South Korea's central bank raised its 2007 GDP forecast from 4.4 percent to 4.5 percent. The economy grew at 5 percent in 2006. Strong growth, however, may lead the central bank to raise interest rates to reduce lending and inflation. In 2006, borrowing costs were raised three times.

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Korean Stock Funds Pull Highest First Half Profit Margins

South Korea's domestic stock funds are the nation's brightest investment product, outperforming direct investment in shares and foreign stock funds in the first half of 2007. The KOSPI and KOSDAQ markets have been on a non-stop bull run, doubling the number of owners of shares worth over KRW 1 trillion.

South Korea's domestic stock funds are the nation's brightest investment product, outperforming direct investment in shares and foreign stock funds in the first half of 2007. The KOSPI and KOSDAQ markets have been on a non-stop bull run, doubling the number of owners of shares worth over KRW 1 trillion.

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South Korea: New Law Helps Financial Sector

South Korea passed the Capital Market Consolidation Act in order to boost its financial sector. The new law, which will take effect in 2009, lifts regulatory barriers between different financial sectors. Ultimately, the government hopes the law will lead to the development of large multi-service investment banks.

South Korea passed the Capital Market Consolidation Act in order to boost its financial sector. The new law, which will take effect in 2009, lifts regulatory barriers between different financial sectors. Ultimately, the government hopes the law will lead to the development of large multi-service investment banks.

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Bullish Market and Liquidity Surge May Prompt Korean Rate Hike

Economists expect that the Bank of Korea will vote to hike interest rates on Thursday at a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, as South Korea's outstanding liquidity aggregate has surged to KRW 1,913.5 trillion. The rapid growth in money supply can be attributed to the currently robust nature of the Korean stock market.

Economists expect that the Bank of Korea will vote to hike interest rates on Thursday at a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, as South Korea's outstanding liquidity aggregate has surged to KRW 1,913.5 trillion. The rapid growth in money supply can be attributed to the currently robust nature of the Korean stock market.

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First Drop in a Week on International Asia-Pacific Index

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index dropped for the first time in seven days on Friday, fueled by speculation that a rise in bond yields will lure money away from the equity market. Though China's CSI 300 posted its biggest gain in five months, the benchmark indexes of Japan, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka all slipped. South Korea's Kospi Index climbed 6.7 percent this week, and Thailand's SET Index posted its largest weekly gain in four years.

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index dropped for the first time in seven days on Friday, fueled by speculation that a rise in bond yields will lure money away from the equity market. Though China's CSI 300 posted its biggest gain in five months, the benchmark indexes of Japan, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka all slipped. South Korea's Kospi Index climbed 6.7 percent this week, and Thailand's SET Index posted its largest weekly gain in four years.

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Coca-Cola Amatil May Sell Korean Division to LG Household

Exclusive talks have begun between Sydney-based Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. and LG Household & Health Care Ltd., a division of South Korea's fourth-largest industrial group, concerning the sale of the Coca-Cola Amatil's Korean bottling unit. By acquiring Coca-Cola Korea, LG Household will boost sales of products through a nationwide distribution network and expand into South Korea's valued USD 3 billion beverage market. It is speculated that Coca-Coal Amatil, Australia's largest soft-drink producer, will stand to lose as much as AUD 50 million on the sale with a formal agreement expected in the upcoming quarter.

Exclusive talks have begun between Sydney-based Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. and LG Household & Health Care Ltd., a division of South Korea's fourth-largest industrial group, concerning the sale of the Coca-Cola Amatil's Korean bottling unit. By acquiring Coca-Cola Korea, LG Household will boost sales of products through a nationwide distribution network and expand into South Korea's valued USD 3 billion beverage market. It is speculated that Coca-Coal Amatil, Australia's largest soft-drink producer, will stand to lose as much as AUD 50 million on the sale with a formal agreement expected in the upcoming quarter.

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China to Become South Korea's Largest Importer

Korea's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy predict that China will surpass Japan as South Korea's largest importer by the end of this year due to increased demand for steel and electronic parts. In the first half of the year, imports from China increased by 36.3 percent to USD 28.7 billion while imports from Japan amassed to USD 26.5 billion.

Korea's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy predict that China will surpass Japan as South Korea's largest importer by the end of this year due to increased demand for steel and electronic parts. In the first half of the year, imports from China increased by 36.3 percent to USD 28.7 billion while imports from Japan amassed to USD 26.5 billion.

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Russian Black Sea Resort City Lands 2014 Olympic Games

Edging out South Korea's Pyeongchang by a score of 51 votes to 47, Sochi, the Russian Black Sea resort city that boasts President Putin's vacation home, has landed the hosting rights to the 2014 Winter Olympic games. The Kremlin sees this as a stellar opportunity to show how well Russia has handled rebounding economically from the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, as last year's opening ceremony in Turin was the year's third-most watched television program.

Edging out South Korea's Pyeongchang by a score of 51 votes to 47, Sochi, the Russian Black Sea resort city that boasts President Putin's vacation home, has landed the hosting rights to the 2014 Winter Olympic games. The Kremlin sees this as a stellar opportunity to show how well Russia has handled rebounding economically from the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, as last year's opening ceremony in Turin was the year's third-most watched television program.

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Fueled by Chipmakers, Asian Securities on Six-day Rise

Samsung Electronics Co. and BHP Billiton Ltd. led the way as Asian stocks rose for a sixth straight day, reflecting the current strength and rising prices of computer chips and metals. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index gained 0.5 percent to hit a record of 156.67 at 8:03 PM in Tokyo, and the region's leading benchmark index, the Nikkei 225, rose 0.3 percent. China's CSI 300 Index paced losers as questions swirled concerning the impact of new share sales. The markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand also took losses on the day.

Samsung Electronics Co. and BHP Billiton Ltd. led the way as Asian stocks rose for a sixth straight day, reflecting the current strength and rising prices of computer chips and metals. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index gained 0.5 percent to hit a record of 156.67 at 8:03 PM in Tokyo, and the region's leading benchmark index, the Nikkei 225, rose 0.3 percent. China's CSI 300 Index paced losers as questions swirled concerning the impact of new share sales. The markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand also took losses on the day.

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South Korea Set to Begin Sending Oil to North Korea

In line with the six-party talks' February 13 agreement whereby North Korea would shut down its nuclear plants in return for energy assistance, South Korea will send an initial shipment of oil to North Korea by July 14 to push NK to begin dismantling its nuclear weapons program. This first shipment will consist of 6,200 metric tons of heavy fuel oil and cost South Korea approximately USD 28 million.

In line with the six-party talks' February 13 agreement whereby North Korea would shut down its nuclear plants in return for energy assistance, South Korea will send an initial shipment of oil to North Korea by July 14 to push NK to begin dismantling its nuclear weapons program. This first shipment will consist of 6,200 metric tons of heavy fuel oil and cost South Korea approximately USD 28 million.

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Merrill Lynch: Strong Emerging Markets

According to Merrill Lynch, emerging markets grew 16.1 percent in the first six months of 2007 while developed markets grew 8 percent. Asia equities rose 17.3 percent and were led by China and South Korea. The industrials and material sectors were the best performers while the consumer staples and IT sectors were the worst performers.

According to Merrill Lynch, emerging markets grew 16.1 percent in the first six months of 2007 while developed markets grew 8 percent. Asia equities rose 17.3 percent and were led by China and South Korea. The industrials and material sectors were the best performers while the consumer staples and IT sectors were the worst performers.

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US-Korea Trade Agreement May Hurt Taiwan

Taiwan's Economics Ministry states that the US-South Korean free trade agreement (FTA) will erase 20,000 jobs in Taiwan and USD 2 billion in trade between Taiwan and the US. According to the ministry, Taiwan's traditional industries such as the textile, garment, bicycle, plastics and rubber shoes industries will suffer the most. Taiwan wants to sign an FTA with the US, but the US does not want to anger China.

Taiwan's Economics Ministry states that the US-South Korean free trade agreement (FTA) will erase 20,000 jobs in Taiwan and USD 2 billion in trade between Taiwan and the US. According to the ministry, Taiwan's traditional industries such as the textile, garment, bicycle, plastics and rubber shoes industries will suffer the most. Taiwan wants to sign an FTA with the US, but the US does not want to anger China.

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South Korea and Ukraine Agree to Uranium Deal

South Korea and Ukraine have signed a memorandum of understanding to build nuclear power plants and develop uranium in Ukraine. South Korea seeks to gain access to raw materials in order to be less vulnerable to changes in raw material prices.

South Korea and Ukraine have signed a memorandum of understanding to build nuclear power plants and develop uranium in Ukraine. South Korea seeks to gain access to raw materials in order to be less vulnerable to changes in raw material prices.

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South Korea Enjoys Higher Overseas Automobile Demand

The South Korean automobile industry experienced an 8.1 percent increase in sales during the first six months of this year in comparison to those of 2006. The increase for the five South Korean automakers was mainly due to a strengthening of overseas demand.

The South Korean automobile industry experienced an 8.1 percent increase in sales during the first six months of this year in comparison to those of 2006. The increase for the five South Korean automakers was mainly due to a strengthening of overseas demand.

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South Korea and US Finalize FTA

South Korea will accept the changes to the Free Trade Agreement as specified by the United States calling for stricter labor and environmental restrictions. Both sides needed to sign the deal before it could receive official approval by the US Congress on June 30. According to both governments, lower trade barriers will lead to increased commerce although it may hurt job security.

South Korea will accept the changes to the Free Trade Agreement as specified by the United States calling for stricter labor and environmental restrictions. Both sides needed to sign the deal before it could receive official approval by the US Congress on June 30. According to both governments, lower trade barriers will lead to increased commerce although it may hurt job security.

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Myanmar and South Korea Sign a Free Trade Agreement

South Korea and Myanmar have signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) this month, and trade between the countries will almost certainly grow, according to Choi Kwang-jin from the Republic of Korea embassy in Myanmar's capital Yangon. The FTA lifts tariffs on 62 percent of commodities imported from ASEAN countries. Choi said that by 2008, South Korea will have abolished 95 percent of tariffs commodities imported from ASEAN countries.

South Korea and Myanmar have signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) this month, and trade between the countries will almost certainly grow, according to Choi Kwang-jin from the Republic of Korea embassy in Myanmar's capital Yangon. The FTA lifts tariffs on 62 percent of commodities imported from ASEAN countries. Choi said that by 2008, South Korea will have abolished 95 percent of tariffs commodities imported from ASEAN countries.

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South Korea and Singapore to Promote Immigration

To combat declining birth rates, South Korea and Singapore are looking to increase immigration from other Asian countries. According to Pauline Straughan, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore, birth rates have declined in Singapore due to higher education costs for children and increasing employment for women.

To combat declining birth rates, South Korea and Singapore are looking to increase immigration from other Asian countries. According to Pauline Straughan, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore, birth rates have declined in Singapore due to higher education costs for children and increasing employment for women.

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US Free Trade Pact Angers South Korean Workers

In response to the free trade agreement between South Korea and the United States, South Korea's largest labor union promoted a strike in which over 100,000 members of the Korean Metal Workers' Union walked off the job for four hours. Although the reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers will increase commerce, the workers are worried that they will hurt job security. The trade agreement is expected to pass through US Congress on June 30.

In response to the free trade agreement between South Korea and the United States, South Korea's largest labor union promoted a strike in which over 100,000 members of the Korean Metal Workers' Union walked off the job for four hours. Although the reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers will increase commerce, the workers are worried that they will hurt job security. The trade agreement is expected to pass through US Congress on June 30.

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First South Korean Bank to Start Operation in Cambodia

As first commercial South Korean Bank, Camko Bank will start operating in Cambodia as of the end of next month. According to a Bank's official, Camko Bank will provide a variety of "unprecedented" banking services such as loans, VIP services and savings. One particularity will be a loan where borrowers do not have to repay the principal, but only the accruing interests.

As first commercial South Korean Bank, Camko Bank will start operating in Cambodia as of the end of next month. According to a Bank's official, Camko Bank will provide a variety of "unprecedented" banking services such as loans, VIP services and savings. One particularity will be a loan where borrowers do not have to repay the principal, but only the accruing interests.

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South Korea to Consider Changes to US Free Trade Agreement

After reaching a free trade agreement with the United States in early April, South Korea will decide on Thursday whether to accept modifications as requested by the US. These modifications include tougher restrictions on workers and the environment so that the likelihood the agreement will pass US Congress will increase.

After reaching a free trade agreement with the United States in early April, South Korea will decide on Thursday whether to accept modifications as requested by the US. These modifications include tougher restrictions on workers and the environment so that the likelihood the agreement will pass US Congress will increase.

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South Korea Market Declines

Due to the decline of shares in the US market and the probability of an interest rate hike, the South Korean market fell 16.45 points to close at 1,733.10. Many companies in the automobile, steel, and oil industries experienced a fall in share prices while those in the shipbuilding and electronics industry rose.

Due to the decline of shares in the US market and the probability of an interest rate hike, the South Korean market fell 16.45 points to close at 1,733.10. Many companies in the automobile, steel, and oil industries experienced a fall in share prices while those in the shipbuilding and electronics industry rose.

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Korea Announces Comprehensive Reforms to Business Environment

The South Korean government announced a set of measures on Monday that would improve the country's corporate environment by boosting corporate capital spending and supporting economic growth. Many of the deregulations and measures target small- and medium-sized business, which are an important portion of the country's corporate capital investment as well as employment. The government will also reform the corporate tax code to ease companies' tax burdens, as well as lower restrictions in the transportation and distribution industries to reduce company costs.

The South Korean government announced a set of measures on Monday that would improve the country's corporate environment by boosting corporate capital spending and supporting economic growth. Many of the deregulations and measures target small- and medium-sized business, which are an important portion of the country's corporate capital investment as well as employment. The government will also reform the corporate tax code to ease companies' tax burdens, as well as lower restrictions in the transportation and distribution industries to reduce company costs.

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South Korea Finds Alternative Fuel Source in East Sea

The South Korea Ministry of Commerce announced Sunday that gas hydrate, an alternative fuel source, was successfully extracted from the East Sea about 135 kilometers northeast of Pohang City. The nation's waters are estimated to hold 600 million tons of gas hydrate, a crystalline compound easily convertible to natural gas, which would meet South Korea's natural gas needs for the next thirty years. The government plans to spend KRW 226 billion to start gas hydrate production in 2015.

The South Korea Ministry of Commerce announced Sunday that gas hydrate, an alternative fuel source, was successfully extracted from the East Sea about 135 kilometers northeast of Pohang City. The nation's waters are estimated to hold 600 million tons of gas hydrate, a crystalline compound easily convertible to natural gas, which would meet South Korea's natural gas needs for the next thirty years. The government plans to spend KRW 226 billion to start gas hydrate production in 2015.

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South Korea Urges China to Increase Investment

South Korean Vice Finance Minister Oh Young-ho urged Chinese ministers on Friday to expand their investment into Korea. Although cooperative ties between Beijing and Seoul were established fifteen years ago, Oh explained that the level of bilateral investment cooperation was insufficient. Last year, China only invested USD 40 million in South Korea, which accounts for two-fifths of a percent of Korea's total foreign direct investment. Meanwhile, Chinese officials asked for Korea's cooperation in facilitating visa issuance procedures.

 

South Korean Vice Finance Minister Oh Young-ho urged Chinese ministers on Friday to expand their investment into Korea. Although cooperative ties between Beijing and Seoul were established fifteen years ago, Oh explained that the level of bilateral investment cooperation was insufficient. Last year, China only invested USD 40 million in South Korea, which accounts for two-fifths of a percent of Korea's total foreign direct investment. Meanwhile, Chinese officials asked for Korea's cooperation in facilitating visa issuance procedures.

 

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China Lifts Ban on South Korean Kimchi Imports

China has lifted its ban on South Korean food imports of kimchi, red pepper and soybean paste made by the food manufacturers Dongwon, Daesang and CJ. China imposed the import ban in 2005 after claiming parasite eggs were found in the food, but government officials now cite improvements in the quality control systems, which led China to lift the ban.

China has lifted its ban on South Korean food imports of kimchi, red pepper and soybean paste made by the food manufacturers Dongwon, Daesang and CJ. China imposed the import ban in 2005 after claiming parasite eggs were found in the food, but government officials now cite improvements in the quality control systems, which led China to lift the ban.

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Korean Bank Opens in Kazakhstan

South Korea's top lender Kookmin Bank opened a representative office in Kazakhstan on Wednesday as a first move towards expansion into Central Asia. Located in Almaty, Kazakhstan's commercial capital, the office will be tasked with gathering information in preparation for the banks future operations in Central Asia. Kookmin explained that, in opening the office, they hope to come up with a detailed business plan that may include a capital and strategic alliance with Kazakhstan and the rest of Central Asia.

South Korea's top lender Kookmin Bank opened a representative office in Kazakhstan on Wednesday as a first move towards expansion into Central Asia. Located in Almaty, Kazakhstan's commercial capital, the office will be tasked with gathering information in preparation for the banks future operations in Central Asia. Kookmin explained that, in opening the office, they hope to come up with a detailed business plan that may include a capital and strategic alliance with Kazakhstan and the rest of Central Asia.

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Additional KORUS FTA Talks To Take Place

A new session of supplementary bilateral free trade talks are underway between the United States and South Korea as the United States seeks several revisions to the earlier agreement. Held in Seoul, the additional talks will focus on seven sections of the existing accord as Washington claims that they currently do not reflect new trade policy guidelines. South Korea, however, believes there is no rush to finish the supplementary talks and the existing accord should be signed next week regardless of whether or not the additional talks have concluded.

A new session of supplementary bilateral free trade talks are underway between the United States and South Korea as the United States seeks several revisions to the earlier agreement. Held in Seoul, the additional talks will focus on seven sections of the existing accord as Washington claims that they currently do not reflect new trade policy guidelines. South Korea, however, believes there is no rush to finish the supplementary talks and the existing accord should be signed next week regardless of whether or not the additional talks have concluded.

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South Korean Hyundai Heavy Industries to Build Plant in India

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world's largest shipbuilder, announced Wednesday that it will spend USD 45.9 million to establish an excavator manufacturing factory in India. When completed, the plant will manufacture 3,500 excavators annually. Doosan Infracore Co., Korea's largest construction equipment maker, also plans to build a factory in India, which is expected to produce 3,000 excavators annually. Doosan Infracore Co. claims that this will have a dramatic effect on Indian manufacturing as excavator production rises from 7,000 units annually to 33,000 units annually by 2016.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world's largest shipbuilder, announced Wednesday that it will spend USD 45.9 million to establish an excavator manufacturing factory in India. When completed, the plant will manufacture 3,500 excavators annually. Doosan Infracore Co., Korea's largest construction equipment maker, also plans to build a factory in India, which is expected to produce 3,000 excavators annually. Doosan Infracore Co. claims that this will have a dramatic effect on Indian manufacturing as excavator production rises from 7,000 units annually to 33,000 units annually by 2016.

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South Korean Shipbuilders Gaining on China

South Korean shipbuilders are quickly gaining on China in the race to secure ship orders from around the globe. As of the end of last month, South Korea had won a total of 11.7 million compensated gross tons (CGT) in orders and topped the list of order backlogs with 51 million CGT compared to China's 37 million CGT.

South Korean shipbuilders are quickly gaining on China in the race to secure ship orders from around the globe. As of the end of last month, South Korea had won a total of 11.7 million compensated gross tons (CGT) in orders and topped the list of order backlogs with 51 million CGT compared to China's 37 million CGT.

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South Korean Rice Hits US Shelves

Rice from South Korea hit the shelves of major supermarkets on Tuesday in the United States. Korea's first export shipment, the rice came from the North Jeolla Province and went up in markets in Los Angeles and Orange County. The shipment is the result of strong pressure on South Korea to open its rice market and the South Korean rice will compete with other environmentally friendly, high quality rices.

Rice from South Korea hit the shelves of major supermarkets on Tuesday in the United States. Korea's first export shipment, the rice came from the North Jeolla Province and went up in markets in Los Angeles and Orange County. The shipment is the result of strong pressure on South Korea to open its rice market and the South Korean rice will compete with other environmentally friendly, high quality rices.

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South Korea and Japan to Share Oil Reserves

South Korea and Japan signed an agreement on Monday to share oil reserves, paving the way for the two countries to jointly deal with any future crises. The strategic agreement between the state-run Korea National Oil Corp. and government-funded Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. allows the two countries to tap into the other's oil reserves in the case of a supply shortage. Since the two countries import nearly all of their oil needs, the agreement will greatly help both countries deal with oil crises.

South Korea and Japan signed an agreement on Monday to share oil reserves, paving the way for the two countries to jointly deal with any future crises. The strategic agreement between the state-run Korea National Oil Corp. and government-funded Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. allows the two countries to tap into the other's oil reserves in the case of a supply shortage. Since the two countries import nearly all of their oil needs, the agreement will greatly help both countries deal with oil crises.

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World Bank Supports e-Government Program in Sri Lanka

World Bank announced today that it will assist in the design and implementation of an e-governance program in Sri Lanka through continued support of the e-Sri Lanka Development Project. The government hopes to streamline access to all public services in order to achieve a customer-oriented model of governance.

World Bank announced today that it will assist in the design and implementation of an e-governance program in Sri Lanka through continued support of the e-Sri Lanka Development Project. The government hopes to streamline access to all public services in order to achieve a customer-oriented model of governance.

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south_korea

Inter-Korean Trade Expected to Rise 27 Percent

The Korea International Trade Association said Monday that two-way trade between North and South Korea will rise 27 percent this year to USD 1.7 billion, up from USD 1.34 billion in 2006. Since 2000, inter-Korean trade has increased at an annual compounded growth rate of 24.3 percent and has been spurred by the development of the South-Korean built industrial park in the North Korean city of Gaeseong.

The Korea International Trade Association said Monday that two-way trade between North and South Korea will rise 27 percent this year to USD 1.7 billion, up from USD 1.34 billion in 2006. Since 2000, inter-Korean trade has increased at an annual compounded growth rate of 24.3 percent and has been spurred by the development of the South-Korean built industrial park in the North Korean city of Gaeseong.

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South Korean Kospi Surpasses 1,800 Point Mark

The South Korean stock market has set a record high for the third straight day as the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) passed 1,800 points for the first time. Gaining 34.62 points or 1.95 percent, the Kospi closed at 1,806.88 on Monday. The gains are due in large part to the rally last week in New York as well as net buying by individual and institutional investors.

The South Korean stock market has set a record high for the third straight day as the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) passed 1,800 points for the first time. Gaining 34.62 points or 1.95 percent, the Kospi closed at 1,806.88 on Monday. The gains are due in large part to the rally last week in New York as well as net buying by individual and institutional investors.

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South Korea National Assembly Passes Capital Market Act

The South Korean National Assembly's Committee on Finance and Economy passed a bill on Friday allowing securities firms to participate in retail payment services. Under the proposed act, called the Capital Market Consolidation Act, financial investment companies including securities firms will be allowed to join the retail payment services for individual customers. This will greatly expand the opportunities for firms by allowing them to transform themselves into investment banks engaging in brokerage services as well as asset management and investment consulting.

The South Korean National Assembly's Committee on Finance and Economy passed a bill on Friday allowing securities firms to participate in retail payment services. Under the proposed act, called the Capital Market Consolidation Act, financial investment companies including securities firms will be allowed to join the retail payment services for individual customers. This will greatly expand the opportunities for firms by allowing them to transform themselves into investment banks engaging in brokerage services as well as asset management and investment consulting.

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south_korea

Free Trade Support Committee Launched in South Korea

A joint government and civic committee was launched on Friday in South Korea with the mission of promoting free trade associations with other countries. President Roh Moo-hyun issued letters of appointment for the committee, which will gather public opinion and conduct publicity on trade talks, as well as provide advice concerning policy making.

A joint government and civic committee was launched on Friday in South Korea with the mission of promoting free trade associations with other countries. President Roh Moo-hyun issued letters of appointment for the committee, which will gather public opinion and conduct publicity on trade talks, as well as provide advice concerning policy making.

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south_korea

Korea to Cut Tariff Rates on 39 Import Products

South Korea announced Thursday that it will reduce tariff rates on 39 imported goods from next month until December in order to stabilize prices. Items eligible for the tariff reduction are oil and gasoline products as well as raw resources. Based on the reduction, the government hopes to spur local competition since Korea imports all of its oil from abroad.

South Korea announced Thursday that it will reduce tariff rates on 39 imported goods from next month until December in order to stabilize prices. Items eligible for the tariff reduction are oil and gasoline products as well as raw resources. Based on the reduction, the government hopes to spur local competition since Korea imports all of its oil from abroad.

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south_korea

Korea Stocks Reach All-Time High

South Korea's stock market index jumped nearly 50 points on Thursday in the biggest single day gain of the year. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index finished at 1769.18, rising 47.19 points from the previous day. The surge occurred due in part to an overnight rally on Wall street and expectations over a capital market reform bill.

South Korea's stock market index jumped nearly 50 points on Thursday in the biggest single day gain of the year. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index finished at 1769.18, rising 47.19 points from the previous day. The surge occurred due in part to an overnight rally on Wall street and expectations over a capital market reform bill.

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south_korea

Pfizer to Invest USD 300 Million in Joint R&D with Korea

Pfizer decided Wednesday to invest USD 300 million in South Korea for the research and development of new drugs over the next five years. The largest drug company in the world, Pfizer signed an agreement with the Vice Health Minister of Korea, Byun Jae-jin, that calls for joint research and development programs with domestic institutions through 2012. As the largest deal with a foreign drug maker in Korean history, the Ministry of Health believes this will greatly benefit the nation's pharmaceutical industry.

Pfizer decided Wednesday to invest USD 300 million in South Korea for the research and development of new drugs over the next five years. The largest drug company in the world, Pfizer signed an agreement with the Vice Health Minister of Korea, Byun Jae-jin, that calls for joint research and development programs with domestic institutions through 2012. As the largest deal with a foreign drug maker in Korean history, the Ministry of Health believes this will greatly benefit the nation's pharmaceutical industry.

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south_korea

Korean Fair Trade Commission to Scrap Investment Ceiling

The Korean Fair Trade Commission, the corporate competition watchdog agency, announced Wednesday that the government will lift restrictions on large companies' equity holdings in other firms if they improve their corporate governance. The Commission said that this can be done if the conglomerates turn themselves into holdings companies. The government will try to encourage businesses to become holdings companies through market incentives and forces.

The Korean Fair Trade Commission, the corporate competition watchdog agency, announced Wednesday that the government will lift restrictions on large companies' equity holdings in other firms if they improve their corporate governance. The Commission said that this can be done if the conglomerates turn themselves into holdings companies. The government will try to encourage businesses to become holdings companies through market incentives and forces.

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south_korea

Shipbuilding and Brokerage Stocks Raise Korean Stock Market

The Korean stock market closed higher on Tuesday as institutional investors picked up shipbuilding and brokerage shares. The Korean Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) rose 13.32 points to 1,729.88 points and the Korean won rose against the US dollar. Investors picked up the shipbuilding stocks, which were experiencing a correction after recent sessions, and a local brokerage house announced that shipyard earnings are expected to improve on higher ship prices.

The Korean stock market closed higher on Tuesday as institutional investors picked up shipbuilding and brokerage shares. The Korean Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) rose 13.32 points to 1,729.88 points and the Korean won rose against the US dollar. Investors picked up the shipbuilding stocks, which were experiencing a correction after recent sessions, and a local brokerage house announced that shipyard earnings are expected to improve on higher ship prices.

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south_korea

Korean Firms Form Consortium for Congo Railway Project

20 domestic Korean firms agreed on Tuesday to form a consortium to carry out a USD 3 billion railroad project in the Republic of Congo. Confirming the deal with the Congolese transportation minister, the Korean firms will construct a railroad of approximately 1,500 kilometers. In return, the Congolese government will grant the Korean firms exclusive rights to develop its gas and oil reserves, as well as tropical forests, for the next thirty years.

20 domestic Korean firms agreed on Tuesday to form a consortium to carry out a USD 3 billion railroad project in the Republic of Congo. Confirming the deal with the Congolese transportation minister, the Korean firms will construct a railroad of approximately 1,500 kilometers. In return, the Congolese government will grant the Korean firms exclusive rights to develop its gas and oil reserves, as well as tropical forests, for the next thirty years.

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south_korea

Donut Chains Expanding Into Asia

As Western foods are becoming more popular in Asia, donut chains are establishing their presence in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan among other Asian nations. According to Krispy Kreme's spokesman, the donut market is said to be growing by 20 to 30 percent each year. This increase in donut consumption not only represents an embracing of Western cuisine, but also indicates a higher willingness to pay for "luxury eats."

As Western foods are becoming more popular in Asia, donut chains are establishing their presence in China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan among other Asian nations. According to Krispy Kreme's spokesman, the donut market is said to be growing by 20 to 30 percent each year. This increase in donut consumption not only represents an embracing of Western cuisine, but also indicates a higher willingness to pay for "luxury eats."

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south_korea

Investment Bank Firms Raise GDP Expectations for South Korea

South Korea's economic growth forecast was raised by Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. to 4.5 percent in 2007, up from 4.3 percent, attributed to higher-than-expected exports, construction, and business investment. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also raised South Korea's GDP growth outlook last week from 4 percent to 4.8 percent. Both Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs predict that the Korean GDP will grow at 5.1 percent and 5.3 percent respectively in 2008. This growth is due in part to Korean exporters' success in diversifying into new foreign markets, enhancing product quality, and keeping their prices competitive, according to economist Kwon Young Sun.

South Korea's economic growth forecast was raised by Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. to 4.5 percent in 2007, up from 4.3 percent, attributed to higher-than-expected exports, construction, and business investment. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also raised South Korea's GDP growth outlook last week from 4 percent to 4.8 percent. Both Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs predict that the Korean GDP will grow at 5.1 percent and 5.3 percent respectively in 2008. This growth is due in part to Korean exporters' success in diversifying into new foreign markets, enhancing product quality, and keeping their prices competitive, according to economist Kwon Young Sun.

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south_korea

Korea Opens Trade Affairs Talks With China

South Korea and China opened working-level talks on Monday to discuss various trade affairs. During the talks, the Korean government sought to explain the difficulties Korean companies are experiencing in China and to ask the Chinese to provide a sufficient grace period on their new investment policy. The two countries also discussed ways to improve efficiency and clarify customs procedures, as well as reach their goal of USD 200 billion in bilateral trade.

South Korea and China opened working-level talks on Monday to discuss various trade affairs. During the talks, the Korean government sought to explain the difficulties Korean companies are experiencing in China and to ask the Chinese to provide a sufficient grace period on their new investment policy. The two countries also discussed ways to improve efficiency and clarify customs procedures, as well as reach their goal of USD 200 billion in bilateral trade.

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south_korea

28 Kyrgyz Investment Projects Offered to Korean Entrepreneurs

A delegation of South Korean entrepreneurs recently met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, at which time they were offered investment opportunities in a number of hydro-power engineering, mining, construction, and civil aviation projects, among others. Kyrgyzstan is confident that their favorable tax structure will attract these and more foreign investors.

A delegation of South Korean entrepreneurs recently met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, at which time they were offered investment opportunities in a number of hydro-power engineering, mining, construction, and civil aviation projects, among others. Kyrgyzstan is confident that their favorable tax structure will attract these and more foreign investors.

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south_korea

Korea Cuts Tariffs on Imported Oil Products

Korea announced on Friday that the government will cut tariffs on imported oil products in order to lower oil costs for consumers. The tariff rate on gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and other oil products will be lowered to 3 percent from 5 percent during the July-December period. This should have the effect of lowering oil costs for consumers while increasing competitiveness in local industries at a time when oil prices are rising sharply. The rise in oil prices has caused particular frustration in South Korea, which is the fourth-largest oil importer, importing all of its oil from abroad.

Korea announced on Friday that the government will cut tariffs on imported oil products in order to lower oil costs for consumers. The tariff rate on gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and other oil products will be lowered to 3 percent from 5 percent during the July-December period. This should have the effect of lowering oil costs for consumers while increasing competitiveness in local industries at a time when oil prices are rising sharply. The rise in oil prices has caused particular frustration in South Korea, which is the fourth-largest oil importer, importing all of its oil from abroad.

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south_korea

South Korean Government to Ease Restrictions on Overseas Operations

The Ministry of Finance declared on Friday that the government will ease or lift restrictions against financial firms operating or advancing overseas. This move will facilitate the overseas advance of financial holding companies and private equity funds, which will improve South Korea's financial innovation and national development as a financial hub of Northeast Asia.

The Ministry of Finance declared on Friday that the government will ease or lift restrictions against financial firms operating or advancing overseas. This move will facilitate the overseas advance of financial holding companies and private equity funds, which will improve South Korea's financial innovation and national development as a financial hub of Northeast Asia.

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south_korea

KOSPI Hits New High for 8th Straight Day

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) reached a new high on Thursday for the eighth straight session, passing the 1,750 points mark. The Kospi gained 10.8 points to finish the day at 1,753.4 points. This is the third longest streak for the Kospi, as it reached new highs for ten straight sessions in 1987 and nine in 1988.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) reached a new high on Thursday for the eighth straight session, passing the 1,750 points mark. The Kospi gained 10.8 points to finish the day at 1,753.4 points. This is the third longest streak for the Kospi, as it reached new highs for ten straight sessions in 1987 and nine in 1988.

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south_korea

Korea Criticizes 3 ASEAN Nations Over FTA Treaty

The new free trade agreement between South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has hit a road block as three ASEAN countries have failed to implement the necessary legal measures on time. The South Korean government strongly urged Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam to correct the problem and refund the tariffs levied against Korean products since June 1, when the FTA treaty went into effect. Korea also threatened that, if the necessary changes were not implemented, Korea would exercise its rights under the agreement against them.

The new free trade agreement between South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has hit a road block as three ASEAN countries have failed to implement the necessary legal measures on time. The South Korean government strongly urged Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam to correct the problem and refund the tariffs levied against Korean products since June 1, when the FTA treaty went into effect. Korea also threatened that, if the necessary changes were not implemented, Korea would exercise its rights under the agreement against them.

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south_korea

Vietnam Decreases Tariff on Korean Imports

As a result of the ASEAN-RoK Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA), the Ministry of Finance has declared that commodities shipped from South Korea, including consumer goods, materials, and industrial products, will be subject to the lowest committed tax rates, which are between 0 and 5 percent. Additionally, by 2010, tariff barriers against 92 percent of imports and exports are set to be removed.

As a result of the ASEAN-RoK Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA), the Ministry of Finance has declared that commodities shipped from South Korea, including consumer goods, materials, and industrial products, will be subject to the lowest committed tax rates, which are between 0 and 5 percent. Additionally, by 2010, tariff barriers against 92 percent of imports and exports are set to be removed.

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south_korea

Myanmar Cooperates with Asian Neighbors on Hydropower Production

Myanmar is cooperating with neighbors Thailand, China, South Korea, and Bangladesh on hydropower development by initiating a substantial number of hyrdopower programs with these countries. The driving impetus for these cooperative programs comes as a response to serious power shortages in Myanmar. Rich in water resources, Myanmar has great potential for development in the hydropower sector, but more foreign investment is still needed for the sector to develop.

Myanmar is cooperating with neighbors Thailand, China, South Korea, and Bangladesh on hydropower development by initiating a substantial number of hyrdopower programs with these countries. The driving impetus for these cooperative programs comes as a response to serious power shortages in Myanmar. Rich in water resources, Myanmar has great potential for development in the hydropower sector, but more foreign investment is still needed for the sector to develop.

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south_korea

Malaysia Adds 412 Tariff Lines to ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Malaysia has added 412 tariff lines to the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA), which takes effect this month. 356 of the lines were put on the sensitive list and 56 were placed on the highly sensitive list in the agreement's tariff liberalization program. Some of the products include plastic, rubber, iron and steel, textiles and apparel, glass, machinery, and automobiles. The requirements state that the products must have at least 40 percent value added in the AKFTA countries. Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry has announced that the tariffs on the sensitive list products will be reduced to 0 to 5 percent by 2016.

Malaysia has added 412 tariff lines to the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA), which takes effect this month. 356 of the lines were put on the sensitive list and 56 were placed on the highly sensitive list in the agreement's tariff liberalization program. Some of the products include plastic, rubber, iron and steel, textiles and apparel, glass, machinery, and automobiles. The requirements state that the products must have at least 40 percent value added in the AKFTA countries. Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry has announced that the tariffs on the sensitive list products will be reduced to 0 to 5 percent by 2016.

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south_korea

South Korea's E-Commerce Sales Rise in April

South Korea's e-commerce sales rose nearly 16 percent year-on-year in April due to large sales of apparel, electronics, and computer products. Combined, April's e-commerce sales totaled KRW 1.2 trillion, which is 15.9 percent more than the previous year.

South Korea's e-commerce sales rose nearly 16 percent year-on-year in April due to large sales of apparel, electronics, and computer products. Combined, April's e-commerce sales totaled KRW 1.2 trillion, which is 15.9 percent more than the previous year.

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south_korea

South Korea to Allow Rice Exports

For the first time since 1945, South Korea has authorized the limited exportation of locally-grown rice in order to allow farmers access to foreign markets. This move comes in response to decreasing domestic demand for rice. However, this will not affect South Korea's rice imports, despite strong pressure on South Korea by various countries to open up its rice market to foreign rice farmers.

For the first time since 1945, South Korea has authorized the limited exportation of locally-grown rice in order to allow farmers access to foreign markets. This move comes in response to decreasing domestic demand for rice. However, this will not affect South Korea's rice imports, despite strong pressure on South Korea by various countries to open up its rice market to foreign rice farmers.

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south_korea

South Korea to Overtake Taiwan in Foreign Exchange Reserves

South Korea is closing the gap on Taiwan in foreign exchange (forex) reserves as South Korea's holdings jumped USD 3.48 billion at the end of May to bring the total reserves to USD 250.74 billion. This places Korea as the fifth largest holder of foreign exchange reserves in the world, but financial experts predict that it will soon become the fourth by surpassing Taiwan. Taiwan's foreign exchange reserves totaled USD 266.5 billion at the end of April, but Korea's growth rate in per capital gross domestic product and forex reserves is much larger than Taiwan's respective growth rates.

South Korea is closing the gap on Taiwan in foreign exchange (forex) reserves as South Korea's holdings jumped USD 3.48 billion at the end of May to bring the total reserves to USD 250.74 billion. This places Korea as the fifth largest holder of foreign exchange reserves in the world, but financial experts predict that it will soon become the fourth by surpassing Taiwan. Taiwan's foreign exchange reserves totaled USD 266.5 billion at the end of April, but Korea's growth rate in per capital gross domestic product and forex reserves is much larger than Taiwan's respective growth rates.

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south_korea

South Korea Pledges to Promote IT Development in Asia

South Korean Information and Communications Minister Rho Jun-Hyong announced on Tuesday that South Korea would help to increase the use of technology in the region and to decrease the IT divide. This pledge occurred at the sixth meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), created in 2002 to promote economic cooperation among its members. IT was the main discussion topic at the conference and South Korea promised to set up education programs and send IT experts abroad to help the region develop their IT infrastructure.

South Korean Information and Communications Minister Rho Jun-Hyong announced on Tuesday that South Korea would help to increase the use of technology in the region and to decrease the IT divide. This pledge occurred at the sixth meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), created in 2002 to promote economic cooperation among its members. IT was the main discussion topic at the conference and South Korea promised to set up education programs and send IT experts abroad to help the region develop their IT infrastructure.

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south_korea

ASEAN-South Korea Free Trade Agreement Takes Effect

The ASEAN-South Korea Free Trade Agreement took effect on June 3 and will remove tariff barriers by 2010 on 92 percent of goods between ASEAN countries and South Korea. In 2006, South Korea invested USD 12.5 billion in the ASEAN region and this is South Korea's first trade agreement with an economic bloc. As such, the agreement is expected to raise trade relations between South Korea and the ASEAN to new heights. However, the agreement will also create stiff competition in the market, to which the countries will need to adjust by improving the quality of exports and promoting trademarks.

The ASEAN-South Korea Free Trade Agreement took effect on June 3 and will remove tariff barriers by 2010 on 92 percent of goods between ASEAN countries and South Korea. In 2006, South Korea invested USD 12.5 billion in the ASEAN region and this is South Korea's first trade agreement with an economic bloc. As such, the agreement is expected to raise trade relations between South Korea and the ASEAN to new heights. However, the agreement will also create stiff competition in the market, to which the countries will need to adjust by improving the quality of exports and promoting trademarks.

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south_korea

Weak Yen Hurts South Korean-Japanese Trade

The Japanese yen has consistently weakened over the past two years, dropping from 1,059 won to 100 Yen in 2004, to 822 won the the next year, and then to 769 won in May of 2007. This decline has seriously affected the trade balance between Japan and South Korea and is hurting the global competitiveness of local products.

The Japanese yen has consistently weakened over the past two years, dropping from 1,059 won to 100 Yen in 2004, to 822 won the the next year, and then to 769 won in May of 2007. This decline has seriously affected the trade balance between Japan and South Korea and is hurting the global competitiveness of local products.

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south_korea

Kospi Continues to Hit Record Highs

Domestic stocks in South Korea continued to rise on Monday as the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, Kospi, surged 21.35 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1737.59 points. This is the sixth straight day of new highs for the Kospi, which has been buoyed by foreign and individual net buying of over KRW250 million worth of shares. The tech heavy Kosdaq also increased, gaining 2.88 points to end the day at 745.49.

Domestic stocks in South Korea continued to rise on Monday as the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, Kospi, surged 21.35 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1737.59 points. This is the sixth straight day of new highs for the Kospi, which has been buoyed by foreign and individual net buying of over KRW250 million worth of shares. The tech heavy Kosdaq also increased, gaining 2.88 points to end the day at 745.49.

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south_korea

US Imposes Anti-dumping Duties on Gloss Paper Import

The US Department of Commerce has announced that it made a preliminary decision to impose duties of 23.19 percent to 99.65 percent on gross paper imports from China, South Korea, and Indonesia. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has not made any comment on the new charge. According to the statistics from the Department of Commerce, the value of Chinese gloss paper imports in 2006 was $224 million, only 5 percent of the total US market.

The US Department of Commerce has announced that it made a preliminary decision to impose duties of 23.19 percent to 99.65 percent on gross paper imports from China, South Korea, and Indonesia. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has not made any comment on the new charge. According to the statistics from the Department of Commerce, the value of Chinese gloss paper imports in 2006 was $224 million, only 5 percent of the total US market.

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south_korea

South Korean Company to Build Solar Power Plant

Hyosung Corp., a South Korean textile and heavy machinery maker, has won Korean Western Power Co.'s order to build a solar power plant in the southwestern part of the country. With a capacity of 3 megawatts, the plant will be built in Miryang, 390 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and is set to be completed by next year. With this plant, solar power energy will comprise 2.6 percent of Korea's total renewable energy by 2011.

Hyosung Corp., a South Korean textile and heavy machinery maker, has won Korean Western Power Co.'s order to build a solar power plant in the southwestern part of the country. With a capacity of 3 megawatts, the plant will be built in Miryang, 390 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and is set to be completed by next year. With this plant, solar power energy will comprise 2.6 percent of Korea's total renewable energy by 2011.

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south_korea

South Korean Hyundai Oilbank to Expand Oil Facilities

Korean oil refiner Hyundai Oilbank Corp is set to expand its facilities that process heavy oil into transportation oil by 2011. The decision was announced on Friday, June 1, after the company board met in Abu Dhabi to discuss the plan. The company plans to spend USD2.3 billion to construct a new plant in Daesan, 135 kilometers southwest of Seoul, which will be able to process 52,000 barrels a day. If completed, the new refinery will raise the company's processing capacity to 116,000 barrels a day from the current 64,000 barrels a day.

Korean oil refiner Hyundai Oilbank Corp is set to expand its facilities that process heavy oil into transportation oil by 2011. The decision was announced on Friday, June 1, after the company board met in Abu Dhabi to discuss the plan. The company plans to spend USD2.3 billion to construct a new plant in Daesan, 135 kilometers southwest of Seoul, which will be able to process 52,000 barrels a day. If completed, the new refinery will raise the company's processing capacity to 116,000 barrels a day from the current 64,000 barrels a day.

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south_korea

South Korea to Develop New City

South Korea has designated for development a 22 square-kilometer site outside of Dongtan in the Gyeonggi Province. On Friday, the Construction Minister Lee Yong-sup announced the plan to develop a new city in this area with 105,000 new homes, which will be able to accommodate 260,000 residents. Envisioned as a self-sufficient city, the town will serve as a business hub and a host to research facilities and new industries. Sales will begin in 2010 and residents will be able to move in by September 2012.

South Korea has designated for development a 22 square-kilometer site outside of Dongtan in the Gyeonggi Province. On Friday, the Construction Minister Lee Yong-sup announced the plan to develop a new city in this area with 105,000 new homes, which will be able to accommodate 260,000 residents. Envisioned as a self-sufficient city, the town will serve as a business hub and a host to research facilities and new industries. Sales will begin in 2010 and residents will be able to move in by September 2012.

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south_korea

South Korean Exports Hit Monthly Record

Setting a monthly record, South Korea's exports grew 11.9 percent to USD31.25 billion in May. This continues a streak as Korea has posted double digit growth in exports for 16 straight months. At the same time, imports jumped 13.6 percent to USD29.77 billion, giving South Korea a trade surplus for 50 straight months. This comes as a result of expanding exports to China and the United States, although trade to Japan has slowed due to the strength of the Korean won compared to the Japanese yen.

Setting a monthly record, South Korea's exports grew 11.9 percent to USD31.25 billion in May. This continues a streak as Korea has posted double digit growth in exports for 16 straight months. At the same time, imports jumped 13.6 percent to USD29.77 billion, giving South Korea a trade surplus for 50 straight months. This comes as a result of expanding exports to China and the United States, although trade to Japan has slowed due to the strength of the Korean won compared to the Japanese yen.

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south_korea

South Korea to Assist Sri Lankan Railway Development

A feasibility study will be carried out next month by a South Korean company regarding development of the Kelaniweli railway line in Sri Lanka. Smooth running of the key railway line has been encumbered as of late due to an aging signal system, speed limitations, and unauthorized construction.

A feasibility study will be carried out next month by a South Korean company regarding development of the Kelaniweli railway line in Sri Lanka. Smooth running of the key railway line has been encumbered as of late due to an aging signal system, speed limitations, and unauthorized construction.

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south_korea

Sri Lanka Aid Donors Sign Aid Code

Sri Lanka's primary aid donors have agreed upon and signed an aid code detailing how to provide humanitarian and development assistance to Sri Lanka. Called the "Guiding Principles", a major aspect of the code is the underlining of the conditions required to allow donors and their implementing partners to work. Australia, Japan, and South Korea are among the 14 government bodies to sign the code, which has also been endorsed by such NGOs as the United Nations and World Bank.

Sri Lanka's primary aid donors have agreed upon and signed an aid code detailing how to provide humanitarian and development assistance to Sri Lanka. Called the "Guiding Principles", a major aspect of the code is the underlining of the conditions required to allow donors and their implementing partners to work. Australia, Japan, and South Korea are among the 14 government bodies to sign the code, which has also been endorsed by such NGOs as the United Nations and World Bank.

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south_korea

South Korean Companies to Build New City in Cambodia

A group of South Korean companies is planning to spend USD2 billion to construct a new city on 119 hectares (293 acres) along the northern edge of Phnom Penh. That would make it the largest single investment in Cambodia, which has in recent years experienced high growth rates and increasing foreign direct investment, including a record USD4 billion in investments last year. The complex is planned to provide for residential, commercial, cultural, and business needs.

A group of South Korean companies is planning to spend USD2 billion to construct a new city on 119 hectares (293 acres) along the northern edge of Phnom Penh. That would make it the largest single investment in Cambodia, which has in recent years experienced high growth rates and increasing foreign direct investment, including a record USD4 billion in investments last year. The complex is planned to provide for residential, commercial, cultural, and business needs.

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south_korea

South Korean Current Account Deficit Widens

South Korea's current account deficit amounted to USD1.93 billion in April, widening from the previous month's deficit of USD1.64 billion due to increased dividend payments to foreign investors and a fall in the trade surplus. The Bank of Korea cites a hike in raw materials and increased imports of transportation and semiconductor equipment as responsible for the fall in the trade surplus.

South Korea's current account deficit amounted to USD1.93 billion in April, widening from the previous month's deficit of USD1.64 billion due to increased dividend payments to foreign investors and a fall in the trade surplus. The Bank of Korea cites a hike in raw materials and increased imports of transportation and semiconductor equipment as responsible for the fall in the trade surplus.

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south_korea

Russian-South Korean Consortium Discovers Large Oil Field in Kamchatka

A Russian-South Korean oil field off the coast of Russia's Kamchatka peninsula has been discovered to hold up to 10 billion barrels, or three times the reserves estimated in 2004 when the claim was staked. The field is located in the shallow waters of the Sea of Okhotsk and is controlled jointly by Russia's State-owned Rosneft (60 percent) and a collection of South Korean firms (40 percent). The field is large enough to supply South Korea's oil demand for more than a decade.

A Russian-South Korean oil field off the coast of Russia's Kamchatka peninsula has been discovered to hold up to 10 billion barrels, or three times the reserves estimated in 2004 when the claim was staked. The field is located in the shallow waters of the Sea of Okhotsk and is controlled jointly by Russia's State-owned Rosneft (60 percent) and a collection of South Korean firms (40 percent). The field is large enough to supply South Korea's oil demand for more than a decade.

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south_korea

Korean Kospi Passes 1,700 Mark

As the Korean stock market grew to around 930 trillion won (USD1.3 trillion), the Korea Composite Price Index reached an all-time high on Thursday by surpassing the 1,700 point mark. Surging 38 points, the Kospi finished at 1,700.91, which makes this the largest gain in three months. Partially accounting for the jump, the market was boosted by major Wall Street stocks closing higher on Wednesday. This growth makes Korea the fourth Asian nation to surpass the USD1 trillion mark after China, Russia, and India.

As the Korean stock market grew to around 930 trillion won (USD1.3 trillion), the Korea Composite Price Index reached an all-time high on Thursday by surpassing the 1,700 point mark. Surging 38 points, the Kospi finished at 1,700.91, which makes this the largest gain in three months. Partially accounting for the jump, the market was boosted by major Wall Street stocks closing higher on Wednesday. This growth makes Korea the fourth Asian nation to surpass the USD1 trillion mark after China, Russia, and India.

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south_korea

APEC to Study State-Owned Oil Firms

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) energy ministers plan to study the impact of state ownership of oil and gas companies among its 21-member body by focusing on their trade and investment. The study expects to form partnerships between state-controlled and private oil companies in order to efficiently develop reserves.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) energy ministers plan to study the impact of state ownership of oil and gas companies among its 21-member body by focusing on their trade and investment. The study expects to form partnerships between state-controlled and private oil companies in order to efficiently develop reserves.

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south_korea

Korean and Japanese Airlines Form Alliance

Korean airline company Asiana Airlines reached an agreement with Japanese airliner All Nippon Airways (ANA), providing each company with USD12 million worth of stakes in the other. This capital alliance agreement is an effort to increase business ties and mutual interest as the airlines plan to expand the number of routes operated under joint marketing agreements. Currently, Asiana Airlines operates 18 routes and 154 flights with ANA, which makes ANA the largest code-sharing partner with Asiana Airlines.

Korean airline company Asiana Airlines reached an agreement with Japanese airliner All Nippon Airways (ANA), providing each company with USD12 million worth of stakes in the other. This capital alliance agreement is an effort to increase business ties and mutual interest as the airlines plan to expand the number of routes operated under joint marketing agreements. Currently, Asiana Airlines operates 18 routes and 154 flights with ANA, which makes ANA the largest code-sharing partner with Asiana Airlines.

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south_korea

Korean Stock Market Reaches Record High

Continuing a recent hot streak, the Korean stock market reached a record high on Wednesday. Both the Korean Composite Stock Price Index, Kospi, and the Kosdaq gained points, bringing them to 1662.72 and 735.60 respectively. These gains occurred despite slumping stocks elsewhere in Asia, due in large part to individual purchases of Korean Stock as well as the strong performance of Chinese shares.

Continuing a recent hot streak, the Korean stock market reached a record high on Wednesday. Both the Korean Composite Stock Price Index, Kospi, and the Kosdaq gained points, bringing them to 1662.72 and 735.60 respectively. These gains occurred despite slumping stocks elsewhere in Asia, due in large part to individual purchases of Korean Stock as well as the strong performance of Chinese shares.

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south_korea

Korea's GS E&C Wins Vietnamese Approval to Develop New Town

Korea's GS Engineering & Construction announced that it has won Vietnam's approval to develop a new 330-hectare lot town in Nha Be area, about ten kilometers south of Ho Chi Minh City. GS E&C, therefore, becomes the first foreign builder to gain exclusive permission to develop a new town in Vietnam.

Korea's GS Engineering & Construction announced that it has won Vietnam's approval to develop a new 330-hectare lot town in Nha Be area, about ten kilometers south of Ho Chi Minh City. GS E&C, therefore, becomes the first foreign builder to gain exclusive permission to develop a new town in Vietnam.

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south_korea

Asian Stocks Fall on US Rate Speculation

Speculation that interest rates will be adjusted downward in the US, Asia's largest export market, has all but dissipated, especially with an unexpected surge in US home sales. The result was the largest drop in Asian stocks in the past five weeks, with only the benchmark indexes of China, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka advancing in the region. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average took its largest hit of the month at 1.2 percent.

Speculation that interest rates will be adjusted downward in the US, Asia's largest export market, has all but dissipated, especially with an unexpected surge in US home sales. The result was the largest drop in Asian stocks in the past five weeks, with only the benchmark indexes of China, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka advancing in the region. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average took its largest hit of the month at 1.2 percent.

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south_korea

Chinese Company Applies for Kosdaq Listing

Chinese firm 3NOD Digital Group has become the first foreign firm to apply for a listing on Korea's tech-heavy Kosdaq index. If approved, the speaker and sound equipment manufacturer would be the first foreign company to be listed on the Kosdaq.

Chinese firm 3NOD Digital Group has become the first foreign firm to apply for a listing on Korea's tech-heavy Kosdaq index. If approved, the speaker and sound equipment manufacturer would be the first foreign company to be listed on the Kosdaq.

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south_korea

China's New Orders of Shipbuilding Places Top

Based on 8.5 million compensated gross tons (CGT) in orders placed since January, China's new orders have surpassed South Korea and take the first place in the global shipbuilding market. South Korea ranks second with 6.9 million CGT, followed by Japan with 1.2 million CGT from January to April this year. However, South Korea still holds the top spot in terms of ships built with a volume of 3.2 million CGT.

Based on 8.5 million compensated gross tons (CGT) in orders placed since January, China's new orders have surpassed South Korea and take the first place in the global shipbuilding market. South Korea ranks second with 6.9 million CGT, followed by Japan with 1.2 million CGT from January to April this year. However, South Korea still holds the top spot in terms of ships built with a volume of 3.2 million CGT.

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south_korea

South Korea Promises $100 Million to Vietnam

The Korean government has announced to offer $100 million credit assistance to Vietnam every year as they regard Vietnam as one of their largest trade and business partners. According to the statistics, bilateral trade between the two countries has reached about $4.8 billion dollars last year.

The Korean government has announced to offer $100 million credit assistance to Vietnam every year as they regard Vietnam as one of their largest trade and business partners. According to the statistics, bilateral trade between the two countries has reached about $4.8 billion dollars last year.

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south_korea

Japan's Major Credit Evaluator Upgrades South Korea's Credit Score

One of Japan's well-known credit rating agencies, Rating and Investment Information (R&I), has raised South Korea's ranking from "A-plus-stable" to "A-plus-positive". The South Korean Finance Ministry believes the upgrade shows confidence in the country's fiscal stability and economic growth rate.

One of Japan's well-known credit rating agencies, Rating and Investment Information (R&I), has raised South Korea's ranking from "A-plus-stable" to "A-plus-positive". The South Korean Finance Ministry believes the upgrade shows confidence in the country's fiscal stability and economic growth rate.

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south_korea

South Korean Shipbuilders Not Yet Worried About China

Though Chinese shipyards landed 56.6 percent of the world's new shipping contracts in the first quarter of 2007, South Korea, which is home to the industry's three largest manufacturers, insists it is not yet worried. An increasing number of industries in South Korea have developed the "China jitters," but the shipbuilding industry plans to stay ahead of their neighbors until at least 2020, as they continue focusing on such sophisticated categories as liquefied natural gas carriers, oil-exploring drill ships, and ultra-large ships.

Though Chinese shipyards landed 56.6 percent of the world's new shipping contracts in the first quarter of 2007, South Korea, which is home to the industry's three largest manufacturers, insists it is not yet worried. An increasing number of industries in South Korea have developed the "China jitters," but the shipbuilding industry plans to stay ahead of their neighbors until at least 2020, as they continue focusing on such sophisticated categories as liquefied natural gas carriers, oil-exploring drill ships, and ultra-large ships.

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south_korea

Korea Gains Momentum in Economic Growth

Korea's economy is beginning to pick up momentum in economic growth, with favorable economic indicators in the month of March and April. Moreover, in April, the consumer sentiment index rose to a one-year high and exports increased by 17.8 per cent. Although there is much optimism in Korea's growth, there still holds a risk for an economic slowdown and policy makers remain cautious of the possible turnaround.

Korea's economy is beginning to pick up momentum in economic growth, with favorable economic indicators in the month of March and April. Moreover, in April, the consumer sentiment index rose to a one-year high and exports increased by 17.8 per cent. Although there is much optimism in Korea's growth, there still holds a risk for an economic slowdown and policy makers remain cautious of the possible turnaround.

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south_korea

Slight Drop in Korea's Unemployment Rate

Though unable to reach job creation goals set by the government, Korea's National Statistical Office reports the employment rate is up by 278,000 jobs in April. Unemployment rates for people in their twenties and thirties rose, while it dropped for those in their fifties and sixties.

Though unable to reach job creation goals set by the government, Korea's National Statistical Office reports the employment rate is up by 278,000 jobs in April. Unemployment rates for people in their twenties and thirties rose, while it dropped for those in their fifties and sixties.

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south_korea

Trains Cross the Korean Demilitarized Zone

Thursday's rail crossings of the Korean demilitarized zone, the first since inter-Korea rail links were severed during the Korean War, went according to plan. While there were minor protests in the South, the crossings mark yet another successful exchange project they may eventually lead to reconciliation. South Koreans hope to eventually cut shipping costs by linking with Europe via Russian railways, but the North fears that allowing such a move would subject them to foreign influence and undermine their power.

Thursday's rail crossings of the Korean demilitarized zone, the first since inter-Korea rail links were severed during the Korean War, went according to plan. While there were minor protests in the South, the crossings mark yet another successful exchange project they may eventually lead to reconciliation. South Koreans hope to eventually cut shipping costs by linking with Europe via Russian railways, but the North fears that allowing such a move would subject them to foreign influence and undermine their power.

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south_korea

South Korea's GDP Ranks 12th in World

According to a summary from the World Development Indicators 2007, South Korea had a nominal GDP of over $791 billion in 2005, which ranked the 12th highest after Brazil among 184 countries. The GDP's growth rate in 2005 was 4.2 percent, placing South Korea 25th among the top 50 economies. In addition, South Koreans earn an annual income of over $15,800, ranking 49th among 208 countries.

According to a summary from the World Development Indicators 2007, South Korea had a nominal GDP of over $791 billion in 2005, which ranked the 12th highest after Brazil among 184 countries. The GDP's growth rate in 2005 was 4.2 percent, placing South Korea 25th among the top 50 economies. In addition, South Koreans earn an annual income of over $15,800, ranking 49th among 208 countries.

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south_korea

South Korea, Australia Explore Free Trade Agreement

Private research institutions from South Korea and Australia will jointly explore the feasibility of a free trade pact between the two nations, who currently engage in two-way trading worth around US$14 billion a year. Though the Federation of Korean Industries is eager to expedite talks with Australia, Deputy Trade Minister Kim Han-Soo has called for a "cautious approach" due to the cultural sensitivity of South Korea's rice sector.

Private research institutions from South Korea and Australia will jointly explore the feasibility of a free trade pact between the two nations, who currently engage in two-way trading worth around US$14 billion a year. Though the Federation of Korean Industries is eager to expedite talks with Australia, Deputy Trade Minister Kim Han-Soo has called for a "cautious approach" due to the cultural sensitivity of South Korea's rice sector.

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south_korea

Korea Succeeds in FTA Talks with United States

South Korea wins an agreement to establish a committee on Korean overseas producing sites in its free trade talks with the United States. In the agreement, U.S. has compromised the bilateral trade agreement will exclude North Korean products. The service believes that granting preferential conditions to North Korea products will be discussed and approved by both countries' Congresses in the next step.

South Korea wins an agreement to establish a committee on Korean overseas producing sites in its free trade talks with the United States. In the agreement, U.S. has compromised the bilateral trade agreement will exclude North Korean products. The service believes that granting preferential conditions to North Korea products will be discussed and approved by both countries' Congresses in the next step.

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south_korea

Samsung Plans to Move Production Base to Vietnam

With wage costs soaring in South Korea, Samsung plans to commit to its global outsourcing strategy by moving its primary mobile phone factory to Vietnam. The move will allow the high-tech firm a tenfold decrease in labor costs. South Korean economists continue to express concern about the growing number of firms turning to global outsourcing and the impact it will have on domestic industry and unemployment.

With wage costs soaring in South Korea, Samsung plans to commit to its global outsourcing strategy by moving its primary mobile phone factory to Vietnam. The move will allow the high-tech firm a tenfold decrease in labor costs. South Korean economists continue to express concern about the growing number of firms turning to global outsourcing and the impact it will have on domestic industry and unemployment.

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south_korea

Asian Naval Industries Benefit from Maritime Security Enhancements

In an effort to enhance their regional maritime security, Asian nations will spend an estimated $108 billion on naval vessels, which industry watchers insist will not go towards a naval arms race. Japan, China, and India are expected to lead the buying spree, and naval industry leaders such as Japan, South Korea, and Singapore are set to reap the benefits with over half the contracts still available.

In an effort to enhance their regional maritime security, Asian nations will spend an estimated $108 billion on naval vessels, which industry watchers insist will not go towards a naval arms race. Japan, China, and India are expected to lead the buying spree, and naval industry leaders such as Japan, South Korea, and Singapore are set to reap the benefits with over half the contracts still available.

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south_korea

South Korea Considers Hedge Funds Operations

Korean Finance Minister Kwon O-kyu announces that the government will think about hedge funds operations after a capital market consolidation law solidifies the basis for the asset management market. Although the arrival of hedge funds can offer opportunities to investors in making loans, hedge funds might also result in insecurity and instability in the financial market.

Korean Finance Minister Kwon O-kyu announces that the government will think about hedge funds operations after a capital market consolidation law solidifies the basis for the asset management market. Although the arrival of hedge funds can offer opportunities to investors in making loans, hedge funds might also result in insecurity and instability in the financial market.

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south_korea

The South Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement — Its Impact on East Asia

ON APRIL 2, 2007, South Korea and the U.S reached a historic free trade agreement (FTA). The U.S.-South Korea FTA is the largest bilateral free trade agreement in the world. With the U.S. having the world's largest economy and South Korea having the world's 10th largest economy, the effect of these two countries as trade partners will certainly be felt in East Asia. The U.S.-South Korea FTA still needs to be ratified by legislatures in both countries. The U.S.-South Korea FTA also signals the bandwagon effect of more countries entering into bilateral trade agreements than multilateral trade agreements. The U.S.–South Korea FTA prompted both Japan and Canada to reconsider restarting trade negotiations with South Korea. The prospect of even more bilateral free trade agreements has sparked renewed fears for the health and viability of the multilateral trading system, especially at a time when WTO negotiations remain deadlocked.

Economic and Political Implications

The primary benefit both South Korea and the U.S expect from their FTA is an expansion of markets for each country's goods. The U.S is the second largest trade partner for Korea. The U.S will benefit by having expanded markets in South Korea for its industrial and agricultural goods. If ratified, the projected gains to the U.S. economy range from $17 billion to $43 billion, according to Usha Haley, director of the Global Business Center at the University of New Haven. The U.S.-South Korea FTA would liberalize trade in most industrial products, including automobiles and textiles, and further open up services markets and public procurement contracts. Many US farm products will get greater access to Korea's traditionally protected markets, with the notable exception of rice.

Beyond the economic implications, the U.S.-South Korea FTA also has strategic political implications. Because of threats in the past from North Korea, South Korean stock market growth has been hindered, bringing about the so-called "Korea discount" effect that caused Korean stocks to be undervalued. The current six-party nuclear talks with North Korea is expected to reduce the geopolitical risks of South Korea, reducing the "Korea discount", while the FTA will take the South Korean economy to another level, providing solid grounding and confidence to the economic status of South Korea, and improving its economic and political relationship with the U.S.

Effects of the FTA on Other East Asian Nations

The FTA also underscores the U.S engagement of and commitment to East Asia. The strengthened relationship with South Korea that the FTA provides can give confidence to the U.S. in its trade negotiations with China. The trade conflict between China and the U.S has recently increased, and the U.S worries about China's encroachment on the economy of East Asia. The congressional research service (CRS) pointed out that the U.S.-South Korea FTA may be a hedge against China. Because of stagnant activity in WTO negotiations, the U.S has tried to find other means of breaking trade barriers by pursuing bilateral free trade agreements. The U.S.-South Korea FTA is one effort of the U.S. to gain access to the East Asian market.

China and Japan have expressed concerns about the U.S.-South Korea FTA because of its expected impact on trade markets with those countries. The FTA between Japan and the U.S. is still stalled over agricultural issues, and there is increasing pressure on the Japanese government to reach fair trade agreements with South Korea and other countries. It must also be surprising to Japan that the U.S. concluded a FTA with South Korea before it did so with Japan, since the U.S. and Japan historically have had a very close alliance. China is more aggressive about pursuing an FTA with South Korea than Japan and both countries have demonstrated a willingness to pursue a bilateral free trade agreement. Conversely, many economic barriers exist that do not make it feasible at this time for China and the U.S. to reach a bilateral free trade agreement.

The U.S.-South Korea FTA would also have significant implications for APEC (Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation), since member countries of APEC, such as China, Japan and Taiwan would be affected by trade diversion in some sectors. As noted above, the bandwagon effect could motivate other countries to form bilateral FTAs in the region, especially with the U.S. However, Japan and South Korea pursuing FTAs is a cause for concern for those advocating multilateralism. Both countries seem to be using bilateral FTAs as a defensive strategy in case multilateral trade accords stall. The pursuit of bilateral trade agreements by these two countries can be interpreted as a lack of confidence in the WTO negotiations. Regional FTAs may not be hindering the multilateral process – the breakdown of consensus on multilateral trade negotiations may be causing a reappraisal and resurgence of regionalism in East Asia.

ON APRIL 2, 2007, South Korea and the U.S reached a historic free trade agreement (FTA). The U.S.-South Korea FTA is the largest bilateral free trade agreement in the world. With the U.S. having the world's largest economy and South Korea having the world's 10th largest economy, the effect of these two countries as trade partners will certainly be felt in East Asia. The U.S.-South Korea FTA still needs to be ratified by legislatures in both countries. The U.S.-South Korea FTA also signals the bandwagon effect of more countries entering into bilateral trade agreements than multilateral trade agreements. The U.S.–South Korea FTA prompted both Japan and Canada to reconsider restarting trade negotiations with South Korea. The prospect of even more bilateral free trade agreements has sparked renewed fears for the health and viability of the multilateral trading system, especially at a time when WTO negotiations remain deadlocked.

Economic and Political Implications

The primary benefit both South Korea and the U.S expect from their FTA is an expansion of markets for each country's goods. The U.S is the second largest trade partner for Korea. The U.S will benefit by having expanded markets in South Korea for its industrial and agricultural goods. If ratified, the projected gains to the U.S. economy range from $17 billion to $43 billion, according to Usha Haley, director of the Global Business Center at the University of New Haven. The U.S.-South Korea FTA would liberalize trade in most industrial products, including automobiles and textiles, and further open up services markets and public procurement contracts. Many US farm products will get greater access to Korea's traditionally protected markets, with the notable exception of rice.

Beyond the economic implications, the U.S.-South Korea FTA also has strategic political implications. Because of threats in the past from North Korea, South Korean stock market growth has been hindered, bringing about the so-called "Korea discount" effect that caused Korean stocks to be undervalued. The current six-party nuclear talks with North Korea is expected to reduce the geopolitical risks of South Korea, reducing the "Korea discount", while the FTA will take the South Korean economy to another level, providing solid grounding and confidence to the economic status of South Korea, and improving its economic and political relationship with the U.S.

Effects of the FTA on Other East Asian Nations

The FTA also underscores the U.S engagement of and commitment to East Asia. The strengthened relationship with South Korea that the FTA provides can give confidence to the U.S. in its trade negotiations with China. The trade conflict between China and the U.S has recently increased, and the U.S worries about China's encroachment on the economy of East Asia. The congressional research service (CRS) pointed out that the U.S.-South Korea FTA may be a hedge against China. Because of stagnant activity in WTO negotiations, the U.S has tried to find other means of breaking trade barriers by pursuing bilateral free trade agreements. The U.S.-South Korea FTA is one effort of the U.S. to gain access to the East Asian market.

China and Japan have expressed concerns about the U.S.-South Korea FTA because of its expected impact on trade markets with those countries. The FTA between Japan and the U.S. is still stalled over agricultural issues, and there is increasing pressure on the Japanese government to reach fair trade agreements with South Korea and other countries. It must also be surprising to Japan that the U.S. concluded a FTA with South Korea before it did so with Japan, since the U.S. and Japan historically have had a very close alliance. China is more aggressive about pursuing an FTA with South Korea than Japan and both countries have demonstrated a willingness to pursue a bilateral free trade agreement. Conversely, many economic barriers exist that do not make it feasible at this time for China and the U.S. to reach a bilateral free trade agreement.

The U.S.-South Korea FTA would also have significant implications for APEC (Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation), since member countries of APEC, such as China, Japan and Taiwan would be affected by trade diversion in some sectors. As noted above, the bandwagon effect could motivate other countries to form bilateral FTAs in the region, especially with the U.S. However, Japan and South Korea pursuing FTAs is a cause for concern for those advocating multilateralism. Both countries seem to be using bilateral FTAs as a defensive strategy in case multilateral trade accords stall. The pursuit of bilateral trade agreements by these two countries can be interpreted as a lack of confidence in the WTO negotiations. Regional FTAs may not be hindering the multilateral process – the breakdown of consensus on multilateral trade negotiations may be causing a reappraisal and resurgence of regionalism in East Asia.

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south_korea

Initial EU, South Korea FTA Talks Bring Promise

After five days of talks, South Korean and European Union negotiators were very pleased with the progress made on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement. The two sides agreed in principle to eliminate nearly 95% of each other's tariffs, while negotiations over market access, labor and environmental issues, import regulations, and sustainable development will be renewed in July. Coupled with the success of their FTA with the US, South Korea expects that a pact with the EU will give them a significant edge in export competition with China and Japan.

After five days of talks, South Korean and European Union negotiators were very pleased with the progress made on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement. The two sides agreed in principle to eliminate nearly 95% of each other's tariffs, while negotiations over market access, labor and environmental issues, import regulations, and sustainable development will be renewed in July. Coupled with the success of their FTA with the US, South Korea expects that a pact with the EU will give them a significant edge in export competition with China and Japan.

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south_korea

South Korea Presents Positive Outlook on Economic Growth

The Korea Development Institute states that the country's economy will expand 4.6 percent in the second half of the year due to the recovery in domestic consumer spending. At the same time, corporate capital spending and construction investment is expected to respectively increase by mid-seven-percent and low-four-percent.

The Korea Development Institute states that the country's economy will expand 4.6 percent in the second half of the year due to the recovery in domestic consumer spending. At the same time, corporate capital spending and construction investment is expected to respectively increase by mid-seven-percent and low-four-percent.

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south_korea

Korean Won Will Not Appreciate

Korean Finance Ministry announces that the value of the Korean won against the US dollar will not rise further in 2007 because many international bodies think the Korean won is overvalued. However, due to high levels of technology and overseas popularity, Korea's exports have increased by two-digits in growth.

Korean Finance Ministry announces that the value of the Korean won against the US dollar will not rise further in 2007 because many international bodies think the Korean won is overvalued. However, due to high levels of technology and overseas popularity, Korea's exports have increased by two-digits in growth.

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south_korea

Korean Demilitarized Zone Rail Test Imminent

Economic officials from North and South Korea have agreed to allow rail tests on two restored tracks crossing the Korean Demilitarized Zone next week. Pending the approval of the North Korean military, the test would mark the first crossing of the DMZ in over fifty years. While the test would be an excellent move towards reconciliation between the two nations, similar tests have been canceled in the final days of negotiations in the past.

Economic officials from North and South Korea have agreed to allow rail tests on two restored tracks crossing the Korean Demilitarized Zone next week. Pending the approval of the North Korean military, the test would mark the first crossing of the DMZ in over fifty years. While the test would be an excellent move towards reconciliation between the two nations, similar tests have been canceled in the final days of negotiations in the past.

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south_korea

Korean Producer Prices Surge in April

The Bank of Korea says due to global hiking costs for raw materials, Korean producer price index sharply rose 1.1 percent from March to April, the highest monthly growth since February 2004. In particular, the industrial goods prices, such as bronze and nickel increased 1.4 percent.

The Bank of Korea says due to global hiking costs for raw materials, Korean producer price index sharply rose 1.1 percent from March to April, the highest monthly growth since February 2004. In particular, the industrial goods prices, such as bronze and nickel increased 1.4 percent.

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south_korea

ASEAN+3 Agree to Establish Foreign Reserves Pool

The finance ministers of ASEAN plus Japan, China and the Republic of Korea have agreed on setting up a pooling fund from their foreign reserves. This self-managed reserve pooling will be conducted by a single contractual agreement with a gradual approach to ensure the liquidity for currencies and protect the Asian economy against a possible future crisis. Additionally, all ministers announced to accelerate and deepen structural reforms and implement macro-economic policies in order to strengthen cooperation and to support sustainable economic growth.

The finance ministers of ASEAN plus Japan, China and the Republic of Korea have agreed on setting up a pooling fund from their foreign reserves. This self-managed reserve pooling will be conducted by a single contractual agreement with a gradual approach to ensure the liquidity for currencies and protect the Asian economy against a possible future crisis. Additionally, all ministers announced to accelerate and deepen structural reforms and implement macro-economic policies in order to strengthen cooperation and to support sustainable economic growth.

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south_korea

Korean Stocks Set New High

The benchmark of Korea's Composite Stock Price Index raised 16.72 points and reached a new high for the third straight session on Monday. In order to support the index, institutional and individual investors respectively bought 87.9 billion and 21.7 billion won worth of shares which exceeded what foreigners sold.

The benchmark of Korea's Composite Stock Price Index raised 16.72 points and reached a new high for the third straight session on Monday. In order to support the index, institutional and individual investors respectively bought 87.9 billion and 21.7 billion won worth of shares which exceeded what foreigners sold.

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south_korea

Talks of A Korea-EU FTA

Talks of a free trade agreement were made by both trade chiefs of Korea and the European Union regarding economic activity in the countries. For the EU, this represents a big step in its relationship with Asia, while for Korea, it is a big global step, reaching international trading systems.

Talks of a free trade agreement were made by both trade chiefs of Korea and the European Union regarding economic activity in the countries. For the EU, this represents a big step in its relationship with Asia, while for Korea, it is a big global step, reaching international trading systems.

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south_korea

Asian Pool of Foreign Reserves Shall Support in Case of Financial Crisis

China, Japan and South Korea consider the establishment of a pan-Asian pool of foreign reserves as opportunity to counteract a possible financial crisis in the future. In case of a crisis, this might be a chance to face this threat on a regional level first before turning to cross-regional institutions.

China, Japan and South Korea consider the establishment of a pan-Asian pool of foreign reserves as opportunity to counteract a possible financial crisis in the future. In case of a crisis, this might be a chance to face this threat on a regional level first before turning to cross-regional institutions.

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south_korea

Korea's Domestic Business Conditions Improve

Due to improved consumer sentiment, sales increase, and a rise in facility investment, the business survey index surges for the third straight month. Therefore, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) predicts that domestic business conditions will improve and the expansion of corporate facility investments will lead to another influx of new hires and increased output.

Due to improved consumer sentiment, sales increase, and a rise in facility investment, the business survey index surges for the third straight month. Therefore, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) predicts that domestic business conditions will improve and the expansion of corporate facility investments will lead to another influx of new hires and increased output.

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south_korea

Vietnam's Economic Boom Attracts Korean Investors

Vietnam's economic boom has been attracting much foreign investment, especially from Korean companies. Over 1,000 Korean companies have been doing business in Vietnam, creating over 300,000 more jobs. Currently in Vietnam, economic growth is reported at reaching 8 per cent per year. Cheap labor, stable political leaders, and government efforts make the investment environment attractive to investors worldwide.

Vietnam's economic boom has been attracting much foreign investment, especially from Korean companies. Over 1,000 Korean companies have been doing business in Vietnam, creating over 300,000 more jobs. Currently in Vietnam, economic growth is reported at reaching 8 per cent per year. Cheap labor, stable political leaders, and government efforts make the investment environment attractive to investors worldwide.

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south_korea

Korea and Middle East Agree on Joint Oil Storage

According to information from Korean Commerce, Industry and Energy Ministry, Korea and Middle East countries have agreed on joint storage of crude oil and refined oil products. Under the arrangements, Korean facilities can store crude oil, sell it to third countries and use the oil when there is a sudden surge in prices or emergency.

According to information from Korean Commerce, Industry and Energy Ministry, Korea and Middle East countries have agreed on joint storage of crude oil and refined oil products. Under the arrangements, Korean facilities can store crude oil, sell it to third countries and use the oil when there is a sudden surge in prices or emergency.

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south_korea

South Korean Service Sector's Growth Decelerates

According to numbers published by the National Statistical Office the service sector's output in March 2007 decelerated by 1.2 per cent in comparison to February. Whereas in contrast to last year's March, the output of the sector grew by 4.8 per cent. Nevertheless, March's numbers are the weakest within the last 5 months.

According to numbers published by the National Statistical Office the service sector's output in March 2007 decelerated by 1.2 per cent in comparison to February. Whereas in contrast to last year's March, the output of the sector grew by 4.8 per cent. Nevertheless, March's numbers are the weakest within the last 5 months.

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south_korea

Asian Financial Chiefs Meet to Discuss Financial Cooperation

The Finance ministers from ASEAN plus Japan, China and South Korea will hold a conference on Saturday in Kyoto to discuss ways to improve financial cooperation, including a deal on multilateral currency swaps. During the meeting, all the issues being discussed are ways to ensure necessary liquidity in a prompt manner in the event of a crisis and to enhance the capabilities of local rating organizations and securitization.

The Finance ministers from ASEAN plus Japan, China and South Korea will hold a conference on Saturday in Kyoto to discuss ways to improve financial cooperation, including a deal on multilateral currency swaps. During the meeting, all the issues being discussed are ways to ensure necessary liquidity in a prompt manner in the event of a crisis and to enhance the capabilities of local rating organizations and securitization.

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south_korea

Korea's Home Prices Drop

The Construction and Transportation Minister said that home prices dropped three-hundredths-of-a-percent on average this week. This nationwide drop was the first time in more than two years. Experts assume stricter home transaction and heavier taxes as the main reasons.

The Construction and Transportation Minister said that home prices dropped three-hundredths-of-a-percent on average this week. This nationwide drop was the first time in more than two years. Experts assume stricter home transaction and heavier taxes as the main reasons.

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south_korea

Seoul Stocks Rise Following Global Rallies

Influenced by rallies on Wall Street and in other overseas markets, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index closed at 1,553.13, nearly 0.5 percent higher than the day before. Experts believe that after joining the global rallies the situation in the Korean stock market might improve.

Influenced by rallies on Wall Street and in other overseas markets, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index closed at 1,553.13, nearly 0.5 percent higher than the day before. Experts believe that after joining the global rallies the situation in the Korean stock market might improve.

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south_korea

U.S. Beef Might Hit the Korean Market

The Korean National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service said that after initial inspections 4.6 tons of U.S. beef would enter the Korean market. At the same time, the second shipment of beef from the U.S. is on the way. Thus the Korean market might be influenced by U.S. beef next week already.

The Korean National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service said that after initial inspections 4.6 tons of U.S. beef would enter the Korean market. At the same time, the second shipment of beef from the U.S. is on the way. Thus the Korean market might be influenced by U.S. beef next week already.

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south_korea

South Korea Increases 08 Government Budget

South Korean government's total budget next year will increase by seven to eight percent to 256 trillion won. The main reasons for rapid increase are the new basic elderly pension scheme, complementary free trade measures and the second phase of the national plan for balanced development.

South Korean government's total budget next year will increase by seven to eight percent to 256 trillion won. The main reasons for rapid increase are the new basic elderly pension scheme, complementary free trade measures and the second phase of the national plan for balanced development.

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south_korea

Canada Hopes for Free Trade Agreement with South Korea

On Korean-Canadian tenth round of free trade talks in Seoul, Canadian Trade Minister David Emerson said that based on the Korea-U.S. free trade pact, Canada wanted to establish a similar free trade agreement with South Korea by the end of the year.

On Korean-Canadian tenth round of free trade talks in Seoul, Canadian Trade Minister David Emerson said that based on the Korea-U.S. free trade pact, Canada wanted to establish a similar free trade agreement with South Korea by the end of the year.

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south_korea

Korea and Azerbaijan's Bilateral Relations in Energy Trade and Construction

A joint declaration was made by Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun and Iham Aliyev of Azerbaijan in regard to bilateral relations focusing on energy trade and construction. Korea and Azerbaijan hope to combine their strengths and efforts to support their economic development. The main issues the countries hope to improve are within the transportation and IT sector.

A joint declaration was made by Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun and Iham Aliyev of Azerbaijan in regard to bilateral relations focusing on energy trade and construction. Korea and Azerbaijan hope to combine their strengths and efforts to support their economic development. The main issues the countries hope to improve are within the transportation and IT sector.

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south_korea

New High in Korea's Stock Market

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, broke last Friday's record and set another new high on Monday with 1,544.35 points. At the same time, the Korean won appreciated in the foreign exchange market.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, broke last Friday's record and set another new high on Monday with 1,544.35 points. At the same time, the Korean won appreciated in the foreign exchange market.

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south_korea

Four Difficulties to Korean Economy

A Japanese expert stated that the Korean economy is "sandwiched" facing difficulties on four fronts. Auto manufacturers and auto parts makers are affected by technological barriers, the shipbuilding industry has problems with profit barriers, the steel industry faces the need of huge investments to stay competitive, and the information technology sector lacks intellectual property and brand value.

A Japanese expert stated that the Korean economy is "sandwiched" facing difficulties on four fronts. Auto manufacturers and auto parts makers are affected by technological barriers, the shipbuilding industry has problems with profit barriers, the steel industry faces the need of huge investments to stay competitive, and the information technology sector lacks intellectual property and brand value.

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south_korea

South Korea May Face a Credit Crisis

The Samsung Economic Research Institute found that South Korea faces a credit risk because of the rising household debt. If the household debt continues to rise with the same pace as of last year, the nation's economy may be heading for a credit crisis.

The Samsung Economic Research Institute found that South Korea faces a credit risk because of the rising household debt. If the household debt continues to rise with the same pace as of last year, the nation's economy may be heading for a credit crisis.

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south_korea

South Korea and U.S. Trade Agreement Affects Japan

South Korea and the U.S. have agreed to open a free trade agreement. The opening of South Korea's agricultural market has opposition from some groups and may have a huge impact on Japan both internationally and economically. Moreover, industries, such the automobile industry, are expected to be affected by the agreement.

South Korea and the U.S. have agreed to open a free trade agreement. The opening of South Korea's agricultural market has opposition from some groups and may have a huge impact on Japan both internationally and economically. Moreover, industries, such the automobile industry, are expected to be affected by the agreement.

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south_korea

Taiwan Falls Behind South Korea in Economic Performance

In recent years, South Korea has begun to put some gap between itself and Taiwan when looking at per-capita GNP. This can be attributed to the fact that there has been a sharp appreciation of the Korean won against the U.S. dollar. Other factors aiding South Korea include effective economic policies, growth in exports, and also a thriving international film and TV industry. The two countries continue to work out effective measures to improve conditions not only for themselves, but for the well-being of the global market.

In recent years, South Korea has begun to put some gap between itself and Taiwan when looking at per-capita GNP. This can be attributed to the fact that there has been a sharp appreciation of the Korean won against the U.S. dollar. Other factors aiding South Korea include effective economic policies, growth in exports, and also a thriving international film and TV industry. The two countries continue to work out effective measures to improve conditions not only for themselves, but for the well-being of the global market.

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south_korea

U.S. and South Korea Strike World's Largest Bi-lateral Free Trade Agreement

On April 2, 2007, the U.S. and South Korea struck the world's largest bi-lateral free trade agreement. The agreement came after 10 months of negotiations. A deputy U.S. trade representative said the agreement would provide substantial access for American farmers and ranchers. The chief trade negotiator for the EU praised the agreement and stated it would help clear the way for a similar agreement between South Korea and the E.U.

On April 2, 2007, the U.S. and South Korea struck the world's largest bi-lateral free trade agreement. The agreement came after 10 months of negotiations. A deputy U.S. trade representative said the agreement would provide substantial access for American farmers and ranchers. The chief trade negotiator for the EU praised the agreement and stated it would help clear the way for a similar agreement between South Korea and the E.U.

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south_korea

Third Day Rise for Asia Stocks -- Record Highs in China, South Korea and Indonesia Indexes

Asia stocks rose for a third day, with some indexes reaching record highs. Advances were seen in the technology, transportation and mining sectors.

Asia stocks rose for a third day, with some indexes reaching record highs. Advances were seen in the technology, transportation and mining sectors.

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south_korea

India and South Korea Reach Agreement on Duty/Tariff Cuts

India and South Korea concluded the sixth round of negotiations on a free trade agreement between the two countries. This present round was crucial because both countries were negotiating various levels of duty cuts on items, and finally agreed to open up 80% of the tariff lines to duty cuts and preferential treatment.

India and South Korea concluded the sixth round of negotiations on a free trade agreement between the two countries. This present round was crucial because both countries were negotiating various levels of duty cuts on items, and finally agreed to open up 80% of the tariff lines to duty cuts and preferential treatment.

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south_korea

Seoul to Globalize Accounting Standards

Korea plans to bring the accounting practices of listed firms in line with the International Financial Report Standards from 2011. Such plans will ensure transparency of bookkeeping by local firms. A major portion of the plan requires listed firms to file consolidated financial statements from 2011.

Korea plans to bring the accounting practices of listed firms in line with the International Financial Report Standards from 2011. Such plans will ensure transparency of bookkeeping by local firms. A major portion of the plan requires listed firms to file consolidated financial statements from 2011.

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south_korea

Corporate Taxes Jump in South Korea

Even though their pre-tax income fell 9.6% in 2006, South Korea's leading conglomerates paid 3% more in taxes. Samsung saw its pre-tax income increase by 8.3% while its taxes rose by nearly 20%. The increases were blamed on a combination of less tax-deductible investment and the payment of deferred taxes from previous years.

Even though their pre-tax income fell 9.6% in 2006, South Korea's leading conglomerates paid 3% more in taxes. Samsung saw its pre-tax income increase by 8.3% while its taxes rose by nearly 20%. The increases were blamed on a combination of less tax-deductible investment and the payment of deferred taxes from previous years.

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south_korea

Russia and S. Korea Strike Energy Deal

Two South Korean groups, including a state-run enterpise, have entered into an agreement with Russia to develop a project into one of the world's largest coal mines. The Elga Project in Eastern Siberia is the second largest coal deposit in the world. South Korea, a large importer of coal, is looking for more security for its energy supply after recent increases in domestic demand from its suppliers have restricted the nations access to the fuel.

Two South Korean groups, including a state-run enterpise, have entered into an agreement with Russia to develop a project into one of the world's largest coal mines. The Elga Project in Eastern Siberia is the second largest coal deposit in the world. South Korea, a large importer of coal, is looking for more security for its energy supply after recent increases in domestic demand from its suppliers have restricted the nations access to the fuel.

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south_korea

US-Korea FTA Passes Hurdle

Ongoing trade talks between the US and South Korea moved forward Tueday when South Korea agreed to not include a joint venture with North Korea in the proposed area. The Kaesong Industrial Complex is located in North Korea but utilizes South Korean technology and management. The US had refused to allow products made in the complex to be included within the trade agreement. Clauses concerning the Industrial Complex have been included in previous agreements with ASEAN.

Ongoing trade talks between the US and South Korea moved forward Tueday when South Korea agreed to not include a joint venture with North Korea in the proposed area. The Kaesong Industrial Complex is located in North Korea but utilizes South Korean technology and management. The US had refused to allow products made in the complex to be included within the trade agreement. Clauses concerning the Industrial Complex have been included in previous agreements with ASEAN.

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south_korea

Korea, US to Finalize Free Trade Talks

Korea and the US have announced that they will conclude their free trade talks Wednesday. Experts believe that both countries need to reach a compromise because the negative impact of having no free trade agreement (FTA) can be devastating. The two nations need to reach an agreement before the end of March to meet the June 30th deadline of the Bush administration's trade promotion authority.

Korea and the US have announced that they will conclude their free trade talks Wednesday. Experts believe that both countries need to reach a compromise because the negative impact of having no free trade agreement (FTA) can be devastating. The two nations need to reach an agreement before the end of March to meet the June 30th deadline of the Bush administration's trade promotion authority.

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south_korea

Asia's Education in a Globalized World

In a globalizing world, a highly educated labor force will be integral to a country's economic success. A superior educational system will enable nations to develop highly skilled industries, eliminating infrastructural development.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD's September report Education at a Glance reveals a superior quality of education in East Asia. Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, and Japan ranked among the best educational institutions worldwide. According to this report, the future of higher level jobs will be relocated to Asian countries, unless Europe or the U.S. significantly improves their educational systems.

Amongst the Asian nations, Singapore and South Korea merit further attention, the former because it is second only to Finland4 and the latter because of the phenomenal progress it has made in recent years.

Singapore

Singapore's educational system has attracted the admiration of nations worldwide. The students are consistently ranked the highest in math and science. Other schools worldwide have modeled their programs after their precedence.

The system is not without drawbacks. Students in Singapore take exams in the sixth grade to be tracked for further studies. These exams are said to determine their career paths. This system limits opportunities for students whose performance improves as they progress. The schools have also been criticized for their emphasis on rote memorization instead of critical thinking.

The educational system engenders a society in which the ruling elite are the country's brightest. However, members of the highly stratified society cannot advance very easily. The type of schooling creates a skilled but politically compliant workforce.

South Korea

In the 1960s, South Korea had a national wealth close to that of Afghanistan with a poor educational system. At present, 97 percent of its population between the ages of 25 and 34 has received an upper secondary school education, the highest among most industrialized nations. The country has also placed second in international math rankings.

South Korea achieved this standard by investing heavily in education to further economic development. People now view education as the means for career advancement and national progress. The amount per student is actually half that in the US, but it has been used with greater efficiency, albeit with more authoritarian education reforms.

Remaining obstacles for Asian nations Even if a superior educational system is established, a highly skilled work force is not sufficient for economic development. Asian countries still need to create sufficient job opportunities. If education is limited to a certain minority, the economy is likely to lag behind since not enough opportunities are created for the work force as whole.

In a globalizing world, a highly educated labor force will be integral to a country's economic success. A superior educational system will enable nations to develop highly skilled industries, eliminating infrastructural development.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD's September report Education at a Glance reveals a superior quality of education in East Asia. Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, and Japan ranked among the best educational institutions worldwide. According to this report, the future of higher level jobs will be relocated to Asian countries, unless Europe or the U.S. significantly improves their educational systems.

Amongst the Asian nations, Singapore and South Korea merit further attention, the former because it is second only to Finland4 and the latter because of the phenomenal progress it has made in recent years.

Singapore

Singapore's educational system has attracted the admiration of nations worldwide. The students are consistently ranked the highest in math and science. Other schools worldwide have modeled their programs after their precedence.

The system is not without drawbacks. Students in Singapore take exams in the sixth grade to be tracked for further studies. These exams are said to determine their career paths. This system limits opportunities for students whose performance improves as they progress. The schools have also been criticized for their emphasis on rote memorization instead of critical thinking.

The educational system engenders a society in which the ruling elite are the country's brightest. However, members of the highly stratified society cannot advance very easily. The type of schooling creates a skilled but politically compliant workforce.

South Korea

In the 1960s, South Korea had a national wealth close to that of Afghanistan with a poor educational system. At present, 97 percent of its population between the ages of 25 and 34 has received an upper secondary school education, the highest among most industrialized nations. The country has also placed second in international math rankings.

South Korea achieved this standard by investing heavily in education to further economic development. People now view education as the means for career advancement and national progress. The amount per student is actually half that in the US, but it has been used with greater efficiency, albeit with more authoritarian education reforms.

Remaining obstacles for Asian nations Even if a superior educational system is established, a highly skilled work force is not sufficient for economic development. Asian countries still need to create sufficient job opportunities. If education is limited to a certain minority, the economy is likely to lag behind since not enough opportunities are created for the work force as whole.

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south_korea

APEC's Free Trade Area Woes

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held in Hanoi from November 17 to 19 resulted in renewed discussions on trade. APEC leaders drafted a statement on the WTO's Doha Development Agenda and the Hanoi Action Plan. The leaders agreed on the need to continue the stalled round of Doha trade negotiations. However, they refuse to empower negotiators to execute this goal until all members are better prepared for liberalization.

The longer APEC nations put off negotiating a multilateral agreement, the more difficulties they are likely to face. It will be considerably harder to catch up with developed nations and trade blocs such as the EU. APEC will also be losing potential profits. To prevent unequal economic gains, protection of smaller, vulnerable nations is necessary. However, all will lose if Asian economies continue to interact with one another as inefficiently as they currently do. If these nations are going to remain internationally competitive, they must consolidate economic power.

The slow pace of progress invites criticism. Is APEC really as inefficient as its detractors claim? APEC allows smaller nations to balance against stronger players such China and the US, while still cooperating with them for economic gain. With the kinds of obstacles that the leaders face, some wariness is justified. A free trade area only has potential if developing countries in APEC take necessary precautions. They must be strong enough to withstand fluctuations in international markets before they open their economies to free trade. Capacity-building measures and the flexibility for leaders in determining national trade policies will prevent an agreement from benefiting members unequally.

APEC nations should not delay too long, or they risk lagging behind economically. A free trade agreement between APEC nations would facilitate trade within the bloc and internationally. These countries already control nearly half the world's trade and 56 percent of global gross domestic product. WTO negotiations had come to a halt because of disagreement on subsidies. In Hanoi, the US and Japan did not complete unfinished discussions on reductions in agricultural subsidies. China and Australia also have yet to consider further tariff cuts on industrial goods. The conference, however, did open debate for the first time since Doha and concessions are likely to follow. The Hanoi Action Plan outlines details of a multinational agreement. The agreement will streamline the negotiation process and replace 50 bilateral treaties. It proposes that members institute measures which will prepare economies for trade liberalization. The Plan also identifies corruption as an obstacle to growth. The leaders also focused on energy security. Development of renewable technologies and cleaner use of fossil fuels are among the issues of concern. The difficulties in WTO negotiations have made leaders wary.

The chances for success may be higher for a regional trade area. The EU for instance has proved more successful, but APEC will face different challenges. Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thinks that the EU trade bloc was easier to create because of greater political similarities between nations. APEC includes some of the world's richest and poorest countries. The disparity in economic backgrounds also makes it difficult to find common ground. The conference agenda included discussions of pandemic diseases such as AIDS and disaster response plans. Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet issued a statement on North Korea's nuclear arsenal. Some are critical of the meeting's success since no declaration was issued. APEC does provide a forum for world leaders to discuss pressing concerns, but international security is not the organization's primary focus. Those types of discussions would diffuse its main purpose which is to discuss economic development and trade.

APEC should begin negotiations much sooner than it plans. It can simultaneously help its smaller members strengthen their economies. The bloc could integrate weaker economies, seeking to strengthen vulnerable industries, at a slower pace. Other necessary measures include improving infrastructure and reforming laws. Meanwhile, nations can continue to sign bilateral or even smaller multilateral agreements. They can also provide aid to some of the lesser developing nations. APEC should also begin to develop enforcement procedures. As a trade bloc, the organization could later leverage its influence to more effectively address security and health issues.

 

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held in Hanoi from November 17 to 19 resulted in renewed discussions on trade. APEC leaders drafted a statement on the WTO's Doha Development Agenda and the Hanoi Action Plan. The leaders agreed on the need to continue the stalled round of Doha trade negotiations. However, they refuse to empower negotiators to execute this goal until all members are better prepared for liberalization.

The longer APEC nations put off negotiating a multilateral agreement, the more difficulties they are likely to face. It will be considerably harder to catch up with developed nations and trade blocs such as the EU. APEC will also be losing potential profits. To prevent unequal economic gains, protection of smaller, vulnerable nations is necessary. However, all will lose if Asian economies continue to interact with one another as inefficiently as they currently do. If these nations are going to remain internationally competitive, they must consolidate economic power.

The slow pace of progress invites criticism. Is APEC really as inefficient as its detractors claim? APEC allows smaller nations to balance against stronger players such China and the US, while still cooperating with them for economic gain. With the kinds of obstacles that the leaders face, some wariness is justified. A free trade area only has potential if developing countries in APEC take necessary precautions. They must be strong enough to withstand fluctuations in international markets before they open their economies to free trade. Capacity-building measures and the flexibility for leaders in determining national trade policies will prevent an agreement from benefiting members unequally.

APEC nations should not delay too long, or they risk lagging behind economically. A free trade agreement between APEC nations would facilitate trade within the bloc and internationally. These countries already control nearly half the world's trade and 56 percent of global gross domestic product. WTO negotiations had come to a halt because of disagreement on subsidies. In Hanoi, the US and Japan did not complete unfinished discussions on reductions in agricultural subsidies. China and Australia also have yet to consider further tariff cuts on industrial goods. The conference, however, did open debate for the first time since Doha and concessions are likely to follow. The Hanoi Action Plan outlines details of a multinational agreement. The agreement will streamline the negotiation process and replace 50 bilateral treaties. It proposes that members institute measures which will prepare economies for trade liberalization. The Plan also identifies corruption as an obstacle to growth. The leaders also focused on energy security. Development of renewable technologies and cleaner use of fossil fuels are among the issues of concern. The difficulties in WTO negotiations have made leaders wary.

The chances for success may be higher for a regional trade area. The EU for instance has proved more successful, but APEC will face different challenges. Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thinks that the EU trade bloc was easier to create because of greater political similarities between nations. APEC includes some of the world's richest and poorest countries. The disparity in economic backgrounds also makes it difficult to find common ground. The conference agenda included discussions of pandemic diseases such as AIDS and disaster response plans. Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet issued a statement on North Korea's nuclear arsenal. Some are critical of the meeting's success since no declaration was issued. APEC does provide a forum for world leaders to discuss pressing concerns, but international security is not the organization's primary focus. Those types of discussions would diffuse its main purpose which is to discuss economic development and trade.

APEC should begin negotiations much sooner than it plans. It can simultaneously help its smaller members strengthen their economies. The bloc could integrate weaker economies, seeking to strengthen vulnerable industries, at a slower pace. Other necessary measures include improving infrastructure and reforming laws. Meanwhile, nations can continue to sign bilateral or even smaller multilateral agreements. They can also provide aid to some of the lesser developing nations. APEC should also begin to develop enforcement procedures. As a trade bloc, the organization could later leverage its influence to more effectively address security and health issues.

 

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south_korea

Asian Markets Fall Again After Rebound

Chinese stocks fell again after rebounding Wednesday from their biggest drop in a decade. Elsewhere, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand markets were all down. The Philippines, India, Pakistan, Thailand and Indonesia indices were up, with the Philippines' rise as the region's biggest gain of the day after seeing Asia's biggest drop Wednesday at 7.9 percent.

Chinese stocks fell again after rebounding Wednesday from their biggest drop in a decade. Elsewhere, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand markets were all down. The Philippines, India, Pakistan, Thailand and Indonesia indices were up, with the Philippines' rise as the region's biggest gain of the day after seeing Asia's biggest drop Wednesday at 7.9 percent.

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south_korea

North Korean Pledge to Disarm Seeks Implementation

North Korea's No. 2 leader pledged his country's commitment Thursday to giving up its nuclear program in talks with a visiting high-level South Korean delegation. North Korea has also proposed that the two countries on the Korean peninsula resume economic cooperation talks in March, though Seoul was opposed to holding the talks so soon. The countries involved in the nuclear talks (the Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S.) have begun preparations for implementing the disarmament pact.

North Korea's No. 2 leader pledged his country's commitment Thursday to giving up its nuclear program in talks with a visiting high-level South Korean delegation. North Korea has also proposed that the two countries on the Korean peninsula resume economic cooperation talks in March, though Seoul was opposed to holding the talks so soon. The countries involved in the nuclear talks (the Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S.) have begun preparations for implementing the disarmament pact.

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south_korea

The Asian Stock Markets: Boom or Bust?

The year 2006 for the Asian stock markets saw unprecedented gains of the kind rarely witnessed. The stock markets of China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam hit record highs while Japan, South Korea and Taiwan also posted muted though respectable gains. With this state of affairs, it was perhaps unsurprising that global investors flocked to the Asian markets just hoping to reap some of the big rewards. However, some people feel that the amazing growth of these stock markets needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of caution since the nightmarish memories of the 1997-meltdown in the region's equity markets just refuse to die out. This has raised a few doubts among analysts studying the region and has prompted many to be skeptical about the potential growth prospects of these markets in the future.

A Year of Skyrocketing Growth

During the last few years, many stock markets in Asia have been rising rapidly. In China, during 2006, stocks in the home market sizzled, at long last reflecting the country's gathering economic might after years of paltry returns. The MSCI China A, an index of domestically listed stocks, soared 128 percent.1 The scenario was also quite rosy in India when the Bombay stock exchange rocketed another 46.7 percent in 2006.2 Elsewhere in the region, markets bolted ahead on sound economic fundamentals, with markets in Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore returning 55.3 percent, 42.3 percent and 27.2 percent, respectively.3 Even the so-called stragglers, Taiwan and Malaysia, clocked returns of 19.5 percent and 21.8 percent in 2006, a reflection of just how turbo-charged the growth trend has been. The only disappointments were South Korea which rose by a modest 4 percent last year and Japan, which, contrary to expectations, managed to end the year up only 6.9 percent. This is creditable given that these enormous returns occurred despite a plunge in the region's stock markets during May and June, when foreign investors were spooked by the prospect of rising interest rates and fled riskier assets.4 With massive investor confidence and a huge amount of global liquidity, it is no wonder that there has been a mad rush by global investors to invest in the region.

Factors Driving the Growth

Many changes have transformed the domestic economies of the Asian region radically over the last decade. Many market watchers believe that these emerging economies are on a much surer financial footing than in the past. Many have pared their deficits, increased their reserves and reduced their dependence on exports to the US, thereby decreasing their vulnerability to a potential US economic slowdown.5 Some investors believe that these countries are finally beginning to decouple from the US economy either by trading more among themselves or relying more on local consumer demand.6 Skeptics discount this hypothesis and consider it too early to draw conclusions. A slow US economy could still trigger a region-wide recession in the near future.

Impediments to Sustainable Growth

Despite all the hype and hoopla surrounding the Asian economies and their booming stock markets, the future growth outlook for these economies is strangely benign. Experts believe that even though Asia is presently more resilient to a US slowdown than in the past, a drastic slowdown to the US economy might seriously upset the status quo. Currently, investor sentiment remains strong as evidenced by several positive factors like lower international oil prices and a recovery staged by Wall Street after the mid-year slump in 2006. However, financial markets might feel the impact if institutional investors in the US and Europe become more risk-averse, or if the global liquidity that has been funding portfolio investment in Asia dries up.7 The region is still highly export-dependent and vulnerable to developments in the US. In fact, many of the goods traded within Asia are still used as inputs for products that are ultimately sold to the US and other OECD economies.8 These emerging economies are currently characterized by weak inflation levels, strong growth, solvent governments and a lesser degree of dependence on foreign money to finance their investment requirements.9 Although the domestic economies in Asia seem to be in impressive shape, they remain vulnerable to disruption if investment-positive factors begin to wane. Potential investors should exercise a significant degree of caution and restraint while deciding whether or not to invest their money in Asia's growing bourses.

 

This article was originally published in Asia Economic Institute Vol. 1 No. 5.

 

Tell us what you think about this issue by adding a comment.

The year 2006 for the Asian stock markets saw unprecedented gains of the kind rarely witnessed. The stock markets of China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam hit record highs while Japan, South Korea and Taiwan also posted muted though respectable gains. With this state of affairs, it was perhaps unsurprising that global investors flocked to the Asian markets just hoping to reap some of the big rewards. However, some people feel that the amazing growth of these stock markets needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of caution since the nightmarish memories of the 1997-meltdown in the region's equity markets just refuse to die out. This has raised a few doubts among analysts studying the region and has prompted many to be skeptical about the potential growth prospects of these markets in the future.

A Year of Skyrocketing Growth

During the last few years, many stock markets in Asia have been rising rapidly. In China, during 2006, stocks in the home market sizzled, at long last reflecting the country's gathering economic might after years of paltry returns. The MSCI China A, an index of domestically listed stocks, soared 128 percent.1 The scenario was also quite rosy in India when the Bombay stock exchange rocketed another 46.7 percent in 2006.2 Elsewhere in the region, markets bolted ahead on sound economic fundamentals, with markets in Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore returning 55.3 percent, 42.3 percent and 27.2 percent, respectively.3 Even the so-called stragglers, Taiwan and Malaysia, clocked returns of 19.5 percent and 21.8 percent in 2006, a reflection of just how turbo-charged the growth trend has been. The only disappointments were South Korea which rose by a modest 4 percent last year and Japan, which, contrary to expectations, managed to end the year up only 6.9 percent. This is creditable given that these enormous returns occurred despite a plunge in the region's stock markets during May and June, when foreign investors were spooked by the prospect of rising interest rates and fled riskier assets.4 With massive investor confidence and a huge amount of global liquidity, it is no wonder that there has been a mad rush by global investors to invest in the region.

Factors Driving the Growth

Many changes have transformed the domestic economies of the Asian region radically over the last decade. Many market watchers believe that these emerging economies are on a much surer financial footing than in the past. Many have pared their deficits, increased their reserves and reduced their dependence on exports to the US, thereby decreasing their vulnerability to a potential US economic slowdown.5 Some investors believe that these countries are finally beginning to decouple from the US economy either by trading more among themselves or relying more on local consumer demand.6 Skeptics discount this hypothesis and consider it too early to draw conclusions. A slow US economy could still trigger a region-wide recession in the near future.

Impediments to Sustainable Growth

Despite all the hype and hoopla surrounding the Asian economies and their booming stock markets, the future growth outlook for these economies is strangely benign. Experts believe that even though Asia is presently more resilient to a US slowdown than in the past, a drastic slowdown to the US economy might seriously upset the status quo. Currently, investor sentiment remains strong as evidenced by several positive factors like lower international oil prices and a recovery staged by Wall Street after the mid-year slump in 2006. However, financial markets might feel the impact if institutional investors in the US and Europe become more risk-averse, or if the global liquidity that has been funding portfolio investment in Asia dries up.7 The region is still highly export-dependent and vulnerable to developments in the US. In fact, many of the goods traded within Asia are still used as inputs for products that are ultimately sold to the US and other OECD economies.8 These emerging economies are currently characterized by weak inflation levels, strong growth, solvent governments and a lesser degree of dependence on foreign money to finance their investment requirements.9 Although the domestic economies in Asia seem to be in impressive shape, they remain vulnerable to disruption if investment-positive factors begin to wane. Potential investors should exercise a significant degree of caution and restraint while deciding whether or not to invest their money in Asia's growing bourses.

 

This article was originally published in Asia Economic Institute Vol. 1 No. 5.

 

Tell us what you think about this issue by adding a comment.

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south_korea

Sanctions to be Lifted on Macau Bank

The US agreed to lift sanctions against Banco Delta Asia in Macau that led to the freezing of $24 million in North Korean assets last year. The move was part of the concessions made during the nuclear talks of the past two weeks. The bank was accused of helping the North Koreans launder money earned through counterfeiting and smuggling.

The US agreed to lift sanctions against Banco Delta Asia in Macau that led to the freezing of $24 million in North Korean assets last year. The move was part of the concessions made during the nuclear talks of the past two weeks. The bank was accused of helping the North Koreans launder money earned through counterfeiting and smuggling.

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Out-of-Country Spending Increases

in 2006, South Koreans spent 33% more outside of their country on credit cards than the year before, the Bank of Korea announced yesterday. Credit card spending by non-Koreans within Korea increased by only 0.1% in the same span. The disparities were attributed to a strong won and a relatively weak domestic tourism industry. A continuing trend of overseas consumption by Koreans could lead to job loss.

in 2006, South Koreans spent 33% more outside of their country on credit cards than the year before, the Bank of Korea announced yesterday. Credit card spending by non-Koreans within Korea increased by only 0.1% in the same span. The disparities were attributed to a strong won and a relatively weak domestic tourism industry. A continuing trend of overseas consumption by Koreans could lead to job loss.

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SK Stock Market Hits All-Time High

The South Korean stock market's benchmark index closed at an all-time high on Wednesday. The Kospi index hit 1,465.41, breaking the previous record set last May. Much of the surge was credited to a strong global economy and the decrease in political tensions between North and South Korea brought on by the recent six-party talks.

The South Korean stock market's benchmark index closed at an all-time high on Wednesday. The Kospi index hit 1,465.41, breaking the previous record set last May. Much of the surge was credited to a strong global economy and the decrease in political tensions between North and South Korea brought on by the recent six-party talks.

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North and South Korea to Resume Trade Talks

South Korea will resume trade talks and food aid with North Korea later this month after North Korea agreed to a denuclearization plan on Feb 13. The six-party deal, that also included the US, Japan, China, and Russia will allow South Korea to resume sending food, fertilizer, and fuel to North Korea once a nuclear reactor is rendered unusable.

South Korea will resume trade talks and food aid with North Korea later this month after North Korea agreed to a denuclearization plan on Feb 13. The six-party deal, that also included the US, Japan, China, and Russia will allow South Korea to resume sending food, fertilizer, and fuel to North Korea once a nuclear reactor is rendered unusable.

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South Korea Falls Behind in Economic Globalization

According to several recent reports, South Korea is lagging behind other similar economies in number of firms with an international presence. Though South Korea is ranked among the 28 most advanced countries by the IMF, it lacks a representative share of international businesses. Among Fortune's 500 largest global firms, South Korea has only 12, the same number as Switzerland, a country with one-sixth the population of South Korea. Experts advise South Korea to develops its current conglomerates while creating a more development-friendly business atmosphere.

According to several recent reports, South Korea is lagging behind other similar economies in number of firms with an international presence. Though South Korea is ranked among the 28 most advanced countries by the IMF, it lacks a representative share of international businesses. Among Fortune's 500 largest global firms, South Korea has only 12, the same number as Switzerland, a country with one-sixth the population of South Korea. Experts advise South Korea to develops its current conglomerates while creating a more development-friendly business atmosphere.

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Emerging Asia’s Growth and Integration - How Autonomous are Business Cycles?

Against the background of the rapid integration of emerging Asia into the global economy, this paper investigates the role of domestic and external factors in driving individual emerging economies in Asia. We estimate VAR models for ten countries over the period 1979Q1-2003Q4, controlling for external factors, and use sign restrictions to identify structural domestic shocks. Variance decompositions indicate that Asian emerging economies are to a large part driven by external developments, and even more so employing a more recent sample. We analyse to what extent structural domestic shocks exhibit a regional dimension by comparing shocks across countries using correlation and principal component analysis. The extent of regional co-movement between structural shocks is relatively limited. While the principal components analysis indicates a moderate increase in co-movement over time, the correlation analysis finds a decline. This may reflect a broadening of regional integration at the expense of bilateral economic ties.

Against the background of the rapid integration of emerging Asia into the global economy, this paper investigates the role of domestic and external factors in driving individual emerging economies in Asia. We estimate VAR models for ten countries over the period 1979Q1-2003Q4, controlling for external factors, and use sign restrictions to identify structural domestic shocks. Variance decompositions indicate that Asian emerging economies are to a large part driven by external developments, and even more so employing a more recent sample. We analyse to what extent structural domestic shocks exhibit a regional dimension by comparing shocks across countries using correlation and principal component analysis. The extent of regional co-movement between structural shocks is relatively limited. While the principal components analysis indicates a moderate increase in co-movement over time, the correlation analysis finds a decline. This may reflect a broadening of regional integration at the expense of bilateral economic ties.

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Progress toward a Common Currency Basket System in East Asia

Ogawa and Shimizu (2005, 2006a) have proposed a possible way to create an Asian Monetary Unit (AMU) as a weighted average of the thirteen East Asian currencies (ASEAN + China, Japan, and Korea) and developed AMU Deviation Indicators for a surveillance process under the Chiang Mai Initiative. Both the AMU and the AMU Deviation Indicators are important in helping the countries in the region to recognize the necessity of moving toward a common currency basket system. However, there remains an open question about how to implement this system in East Asian countries. The purpose of this paper is to compile the latest issues of currency basket itself and to develop concrete steps toward a common currency basket system in East Asia. Particularly, we simulate possible individual currency basket weights based on trade shares of each East Asian country and convert them to G3 currency (the US dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen) basket weights. We also investigate the discrepancies between the converted G3 currency basket weight of the AMU and the weights of the common G3 currency basket, which is to illustrate the reality of implementing a common currency basket system. We propose a possible way to shift from an individual G3 currency basket system to the AMU currency basket system. In this process, we expect that the Japanese yen would play a varying role at each stage toward monetary coordination in East Asia.

Ogawa and Shimizu (2005, 2006a) have proposed a possible way to create an Asian Monetary Unit (AMU) as a weighted average of the thirteen East Asian currencies (ASEAN + China, Japan, and Korea) and developed AMU Deviation Indicators for a surveillance process under the Chiang Mai Initiative. Both the AMU and the AMU Deviation Indicators are important in helping the countries in the region to recognize the necessity of moving toward a common currency basket system. However, there remains an open question about how to implement this system in East Asian countries. The purpose of this paper is to compile the latest issues of currency basket itself and to develop concrete steps toward a common currency basket system in East Asia. Particularly, we simulate possible individual currency basket weights based on trade shares of each East Asian country and convert them to G3 currency (the US dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen) basket weights. We also investigate the discrepancies between the converted G3 currency basket weight of the AMU and the weights of the common G3 currency basket, which is to illustrate the reality of implementing a common currency basket system. We propose a possible way to shift from an individual G3 currency basket system to the AMU currency basket system. In this process, we expect that the Japanese yen would play a varying role at each stage toward monetary coordination in East Asia.

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South Korea to Create Additional Free Economic Zones

South Korea's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon Oh-gyu has announced that the government will evaluate whether to add new free economic zones in Korea during the second half of this year. If the government does decide to set up additional free economic zones, the region around the Yellow Sea will lead possible condidates.

South Korea's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy Kwon Oh-gyu has announced that the government will evaluate whether to add new free economic zones in Korea during the second half of this year. If the government does decide to set up additional free economic zones, the region around the Yellow Sea will lead possible condidates.

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The Effect of Financial Repression & Enforcement on Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

This paper studies the effect of financial repression and contract enforcement on entrepreneurship and economic development. We construct and solve a general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents, occupational choice and two Financial frictions: intermediation costs and financial contract enforcement. Occupational choice and firm size are determined endogenously, and depend on agent type (wealth and ability) and the credit market frictions. The model shows that differences across countries in intermediation costs and enforcement generate differences in occupational choice, firm size, credit, output and inequality. Counterfactual experiments are performed for Latin American, European, transition and high growth Asian countries. We use empirical estimates of each country's financial frictions, and United States values for all other parameters. The results allow us to isolate the quantitative effect of these financial frictions in explaining the performance gap between each country and the United States. The results depend critically on whether a general equilibrium factor price effect is operative, which in turn depends on whether financial markets are open or closed. This yields a positive policy prescription: If the goal is to maximize steady-state efficiency, financial reforms should be accompanied by measures to increase financial capital mobility.

This paper studies the effect of financial repression and contract enforcement on entrepreneurship and economic development. We construct and solve a general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents, occupational choice and two Financial frictions: intermediation costs and financial contract enforcement. Occupational choice and firm size are determined endogenously, and depend on agent type (wealth and ability) and the credit market frictions. The model shows that differences across countries in intermediation costs and enforcement generate differences in occupational choice, firm size, credit, output and inequality. Counterfactual experiments are performed for Latin American, European, transition and high growth Asian countries. We use empirical estimates of each country's financial frictions, and United States values for all other parameters. The results allow us to isolate the quantitative effect of these financial frictions in explaining the performance gap between each country and the United States. The results depend critically on whether a general equilibrium factor price effect is operative, which in turn depends on whether financial markets are open or closed. This yields a positive policy prescription: If the goal is to maximize steady-state efficiency, financial reforms should be accompanied by measures to increase financial capital mobility.

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An Empirical Study of Asian Stock Volatility Using Stochastic Volatility Factor Model: Factor Analysis and Forecasting

This paper is an empirical study of Asian stock volatility using stochastic volatility factor (SVF) model of Cipollini and Kapetanios (2005). We adopt their approach to carry out factor analysis and to forecast volatility. Our results show some Asian factors exhibit long memory that is in line with existing empirical findings in financial volatility. However, their local-factor SVF model is not powerful enough in forecasting Asian volatility. This has led us to propose an extension to a multi-factor SVF model. We also discuss how to produce forecast using this multi-factor model.

This paper is an empirical study of Asian stock volatility using stochastic volatility factor (SVF) model of Cipollini and Kapetanios (2005). We adopt their approach to carry out factor analysis and to forecast volatility. Our results show some Asian factors exhibit long memory that is in line with existing empirical findings in financial volatility. However, their local-factor SVF model is not powerful enough in forecasting Asian volatility. This has led us to propose an extension to a multi-factor SVF model. We also discuss how to produce forecast using this multi-factor model.

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Real Estate and the Asian Crisis

This paper suggests that activities in the real estate markets in Southeast and East Asian economies were an important contributing force to the financial crises of 1997 in the Asian economies. The analysis relies upon unpublished data reported contemporaneously by financial institutions and market watchers to document the extent of the imbalances in the real property market that were evident to informed observers at the time of the financial collapse. The analysis argues that a series of reforms in the regulation of the property market and the treatment of real property loans by financial institutions are necessary to prevent the recurrence of the kind of speculative bubble that contributed to the financial crises in Asia. Given the recentness of the crisis, the nature of the data and the absence of definitive statistical sources, the results are tentative, but they are certainly consistent with a financial collapse whose proximate cause was unchecked activity in the property market.

This paper suggests that activities in the real estate markets in Southeast and East Asian economies were an important contributing force to the financial crises of 1997 in the Asian economies. The analysis relies upon unpublished data reported contemporaneously by financial institutions and market watchers to document the extent of the imbalances in the real property market that were evident to informed observers at the time of the financial collapse. The analysis argues that a series of reforms in the regulation of the property market and the treatment of real property loans by financial institutions are necessary to prevent the recurrence of the kind of speculative bubble that contributed to the financial crises in Asia. Given the recentness of the crisis, the nature of the data and the absence of definitive statistical sources, the results are tentative, but they are certainly consistent with a financial collapse whose proximate cause was unchecked activity in the property market.

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Monetary and Exchange Rate Stability in South East Asia

Regaining exchange rate stability has been a major monetary policy goal of East Asian countries in the aftermath of the 1997/98 currency crisis. While most countries have abstained from re-establishing a formal US Dollar peg, they have typically managed the US Dollar exchange rate de facto. We show that most of these countries were able to regain their monetary credibility within a relatively short time period. The Argentine crisis in 2001 caused a minor setback in this process for some countries. We measure the credibility of monetary policy by separating the fundamental and excess volatility of the exchange rate on the basis of a chartist fundamentalist model. The degree of excess volatility is interpreted as the ability of the central bank to manage the exchange rate via the coordination channel.

Regaining exchange rate stability has been a major monetary policy goal of East Asian countries in the aftermath of the 1997/98 currency crisis. While most countries have abstained from re-establishing a formal US Dollar peg, they have typically managed the US Dollar exchange rate de facto. We show that most of these countries were able to regain their monetary credibility within a relatively short time period. The Argentine crisis in 2001 caused a minor setback in this process for some countries. We measure the credibility of monetary policy by separating the fundamental and excess volatility of the exchange rate on the basis of a chartist fundamentalist model. The degree of excess volatility is interpreted as the ability of the central bank to manage the exchange rate via the coordination channel.

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Industrial competitiveness of the auto parts industries in four large Asian countries

Rationalization and stabilization following the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s combined with the expansion and liberalization of regional and global trade to create significant parts industries in China, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea. Conventional policies of stabilization and liberalization, however, cannot fully explain growth patterns. Japan and Korea grew into major players before liberalizing trade and investment, while even after extensive liberalization Indonesia has yet to move from extensive to intensive growth. These anomalies suggest that to explain success in the auto parts industry we need to move beyond liberalization to look at policies and institutions promoting economies of scale, skill formation, quality upgrading, supplier-linkage cooperation, and innovation. In Japan, the regional and global leader, innovative assemblers led industrial development and supported key suppliers, but the government also supported diffusion of quality control techniques and new technology to small and medium enterprises, and encouraged stable employment among core employees. Korea remains weaker on both small and medium enterprise and employment fronts, but government-encouraged consolidation around a small number of business groups, an extended period of protection, and support for export promotion led to economies of scale. Liberalization of foreign investment after the financial crisis helped ameliorate the excessive statism of earlier policies and strengthened the parts industry. In China, liberalization for WTO entry, rapid expansion in demand, and strong support by local governments encouraged a wave of foreign investment in both assembly and parts. In contrast, institutional weaknesses continue to constrain development opportunities in Indonesia.

Rationalization and stabilization following the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s combined with the expansion and liberalization of regional and global trade to create significant parts industries in China, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea. Conventional policies of stabilization and liberalization, however, cannot fully explain growth patterns. Japan and Korea grew into major players before liberalizing trade and investment, while even after extensive liberalization Indonesia has yet to move from extensive to intensive growth. These anomalies suggest that to explain success in the auto parts industry we need to move beyond liberalization to look at policies and institutions promoting economies of scale, skill formation, quality upgrading, supplier-linkage cooperation, and innovation. In Japan, the regional and global leader, innovative assemblers led industrial development and supported key suppliers, but the government also supported diffusion of quality control techniques and new technology to small and medium enterprises, and encouraged stable employment among core employees. Korea remains weaker on both small and medium enterprise and employment fronts, but government-encouraged consolidation around a small number of business groups, an extended period of protection, and support for export promotion led to economies of scale. Liberalization of foreign investment after the financial crisis helped ameliorate the excessive statism of earlier policies and strengthened the parts industry. In China, liberalization for WTO entry, rapid expansion in demand, and strong support by local governments encouraged a wave of foreign investment in both assembly and parts. In contrast, institutional weaknesses continue to constrain development opportunities in Indonesia.

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The Role of Banking Portfolios in the Transmission from Currency Crises to Banking Crises - Potential Effects of Basel II

This paper evaluates the potential effects of the Basel II accord on preventing the transmission from currency crises to financial crises. By analyzing the case study of South Korea, it shows how mismatches on banks' balance sheets were the primary cause for such a transmission, and models how Basel II would have affected those balance sheets. The paper shows that due to South Korea's positive credit rating in the months leading up to the crisis, the regulatory capital reserves under Basel II would have been even lower than those under Basel I, and that therefore Basel II would have had adverse effects on the development of the crisis. In the second part, the article analyses whether the behavior of rating agencies has changed since their failure to predict the Asian crisis. The paper finds no robust econometric evidence that rating agencies have started to take micromismatches into account when assigning sovereign ratings. Thus, given the current approach of credit rating agencies, we have reservations concerning the effectiveness of Basel II to prevent the transmission from currency crises to banking crises, both for the case of South Korea and for potential future crises.

This paper evaluates the potential effects of the Basel II accord on preventing the transmission from currency crises to financial crises. By analyzing the case study of South Korea, it shows how mismatches on banks' balance sheets were the primary cause for such a transmission, and models how Basel II would have affected those balance sheets. The paper shows that due to South Korea's positive credit rating in the months leading up to the crisis, the regulatory capital reserves under Basel II would have been even lower than those under Basel I, and that therefore Basel II would have had adverse effects on the development of the crisis. In the second part, the article analyses whether the behavior of rating agencies has changed since their failure to predict the Asian crisis. The paper finds no robust econometric evidence that rating agencies have started to take micromismatches into account when assigning sovereign ratings. Thus, given the current approach of credit rating agencies, we have reservations concerning the effectiveness of Basel II to prevent the transmission from currency crises to banking crises, both for the case of South Korea and for potential future crises.

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Regional Vulnerability: The Case of East Asia

In a case study of six East Asian economies, we use dynamic factor analysis to estimate a regional component of the exchange market pressure index (EMPI) as a measure of regional financial stress. The extent to which this indicator is explained by regional economic and financial factors is interpreted as regional vulnerability to crisis. We find that regional external liabilities and exuberance in domestic stock and credit markets, as well as the US high yield spread, were positively correlated with regional vulnerability. Individual country EMPIs are also explained by regional factors, with country-specific factors and trade linkages playing little role.

In a case study of six East Asian economies, we use dynamic factor analysis to estimate a regional component of the exchange market pressure index (EMPI) as a measure of regional financial stress. The extent to which this indicator is explained by regional economic and financial factors is interpreted as regional vulnerability to crisis. We find that regional external liabilities and exuberance in domestic stock and credit markets, as well as the US high yield spread, were positively correlated with regional vulnerability. Individual country EMPIs are also explained by regional factors, with country-specific factors and trade linkages playing little role.

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Proposed Rules of Origin in Emerging Asia-Pacific Preferential Trade Agreements: Will PTAs Promote Trade and Development?

World trade is increasingly being dominated by preferential trade agreements that have taken precedence over multilateral trade negotiations. Within Asia and the Pacific an explosion of bilateral deals is taking place that seems likely to produce a tangle of hub-spoke trade blocs centered on major Asian or Pacific countries.

World trade is increasingly being dominated by preferential trade agreements that have taken precedence over multilateral trade negotiations. Within Asia and the Pacific an explosion of bilateral deals is taking place that seems likely to produce a tangle of hub-spoke trade blocs centered on major Asian or Pacific countries.

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China Impliments Tariff Exemption on 461 Types of Equipment

In an effect to save the import costs of domestic equipment producers, Chinese government will implement tariff exemption on various electronic and mechanical equipment, as of the beginning of March. South Korean facility equipment exports to China, expected to benefit from the latest move, worth US $2.5 billion dollars annually. It also could be Interpreted as a response to the Chinese government's concerns about its huge trade imbalance among certain countries.

In an effect to save the import costs of domestic equipment producers, Chinese government will implement tariff exemption on various electronic and mechanical equipment, as of the beginning of March. South Korean facility equipment exports to China, expected to benefit from the latest move, worth US $2.5 billion dollars annually. It also could be Interpreted as a response to the Chinese government's concerns about its huge trade imbalance among certain countries.

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ASEAN Summit Comes to a Close

The 12th association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit being held at Cebu, Philippines drew to a close yesterday. The North Korean nuclear situation was one of the biggest issues discussed during these meetings. ASEAN is highly involved in the effort to denuclearize North Korea. Also discussed was the idea of economic integration in Southeast Asia and an overall community building in the region. The next ASEAN summit meeting will be held on Nov. 21st in Singapore.

The 12th association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit being held at Cebu, Philippines drew to a close yesterday. The North Korean nuclear situation was one of the biggest issues discussed during these meetings. ASEAN is highly involved in the effort to denuclearize North Korea. Also discussed was the idea of economic integration in Southeast Asia and an overall community building in the region. The next ASEAN summit meeting will be held on Nov. 21st in Singapore.

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Korea Market Trends (Jan. 8-12)

Money Market, Bond Market, Equity Market, and Foreign Exchange Market analysis from the past week. Three-year government bond yield rose 4 basis points to 4.97% while the AA- Corporate bond yield gained 2 basis points to reach 5.32%. The KOSPI slightly increased by .2% to close the week out at 1,388.4 as the KOSDAQ rose 1% to 608. The Won weakened .1% Won per dolar to 940 Won per dollar.

Money Market, Bond Market, Equity Market, and Foreign Exchange Market analysis from the past week. Three-year government bond yield rose 4 basis points to 4.97% while the AA- Corporate bond yield gained 2 basis points to reach 5.32%. The KOSPI slightly increased by .2% to close the week out at 1,388.4 as the KOSDAQ rose 1% to 608. The Won weakened .1% Won per dolar to 940 Won per dollar.

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Asian Stock Markets Fell

Asian stocks and regional currencies declined due to the proposed nationalization of Venezuela's utilities and the fall of oil prices to a 15-month low. Among the Asian stock markets, Jakarta was hard-hit losing 3.96% or 70.51 points to 1710.36. In addition, the country's currency also fell 0.55 percent to a two-week low. Other bursars in the region also did not perform well.

Asian stocks and regional currencies declined due to the proposed nationalization of Venezuela's utilities and the fall of oil prices to a 15-month low. Among the Asian stock markets, Jakarta was hard-hit losing 3.96% or 70.51 points to 1710.36. In addition, the country's currency also fell 0.55 percent to a two-week low. Other bursars in the region also did not perform well.

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Black Market and Official Exchange Rates: Long-Run Equilibrium and Short-Run Dynamics

This paper presents further empirical evidence on the relationship between black market and official exchange rates in six emerging economies (Iran, India, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan, and Thailand). First, it applies both time series techniques and heterogeneous panel methods to test for the existence of a long-run relationship between these two types of exchange rates. Second, it tests formally the validity of the proportionality restriction implying a constant black-market premium. Third, it also analyzes the short-run dynamic responses of both markets to shocks. Finally, it tries to shed some light on the determinants of the market premium. Evidence of slow reversion to the long-run equilibrium is found. Further, it appears that capital controls and expected currency devaluation are the two main factors affecting the size of the premium and determining the breakdown in the proportionality relationship.

This paper presents further empirical evidence on the relationship between black market and official exchange rates in six emerging economies (Iran, India, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan, and Thailand). First, it applies both time series techniques and heterogeneous panel methods to test for the existence of a long-run relationship between these two types of exchange rates. Second, it tests formally the validity of the proportionality restriction implying a constant black-market premium. Third, it also analyzes the short-run dynamic responses of both markets to shocks. Finally, it tries to shed some light on the determinants of the market premium. Evidence of slow reversion to the long-run equilibrium is found. Further, it appears that capital controls and expected currency devaluation are the two main factors affecting the size of the premium and determining the breakdown in the proportionality relationship.

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Understanding the Latest Wave and Future Shape of Regional Trade and Cooperation Agreements in Asia

Asia accounts for more than 30% of world GDP and contributes half of the global growth in recent years. Despite high growth rates, Asia is still facing considerable socio-economic challenges. If Asia is to reemerge as a major power in the global economy and in order for the region to successfully address its own challenges and issues there is a need to make the region's economies more integrated regionally and internationally. Following the recent global trend, Asia witnessed a wave of subregional and bilateral trade agreements. This paper analyzes the recent trends and patterns and nature of regional trade and cooperation agreements (RTCAs) in Asia and associated problems and prospects. It also attempts to understand the latest wave and the future shape of RTCAs and examines if these RTCAs provide the basis for a new Asia-wide cooperation or for the emergence of new regional trade in blocs of several subregional groupings.

Asia accounts for more than 30% of world GDP and contributes half of the global growth in recent years. Despite high growth rates, Asia is still facing considerable socio-economic challenges. If Asia is to reemerge as a major power in the global economy and in order for the region to successfully address its own challenges and issues there is a need to make the region's economies more integrated regionally and internationally. Following the recent global trend, Asia witnessed a wave of subregional and bilateral trade agreements. This paper analyzes the recent trends and patterns and nature of regional trade and cooperation agreements (RTCAs) in Asia and associated problems and prospects. It also attempts to understand the latest wave and the future shape of RTCAs and examines if these RTCAs provide the basis for a new Asia-wide cooperation or for the emergence of new regional trade in blocs of several subregional groupings.

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Asian Economic Integration: ASEAN+3+1 or ASEAN+1s?

In this paper an attempt is made to evaluate the most efficient approach to regional economic integration in Asia. For the purpose, Asia is defined as inclusive of ASEAN, the plus three economies of China, Japan, Korea and India that is the ASEAN plus four. Given that ASEAN is an existing regional bloc in Asia, alternative approaches to the alignment of the plus four economies with ASEAN for the formation of the ASEAN+4 trade bloc have been evaluated to determine if there are efficiency costs by way of distortion in the patterns of trade away from those expected on the basis of comparative advantage. The findings of our analysis underscore the efficiency of a prior alignment with ASEAN for all the plus four economies.

In this paper an attempt is made to evaluate the most efficient approach to regional economic integration in Asia. For the purpose, Asia is defined as inclusive of ASEAN, the plus three economies of China, Japan, Korea and India that is the ASEAN plus four. Given that ASEAN is an existing regional bloc in Asia, alternative approaches to the alignment of the plus four economies with ASEAN for the formation of the ASEAN+4 trade bloc have been evaluated to determine if there are efficiency costs by way of distortion in the patterns of trade away from those expected on the basis of comparative advantage. The findings of our analysis underscore the efficiency of a prior alignment with ASEAN for all the plus four economies.

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The Evolution of the East Asian Currency Baskets – Still Undisclosed and Changing

Both before and after the Asian crisis, the dollar has been the dominant anchor and reserve currency in East Asia. Due to underdeveloped capital markets and the limited international role of their domestic currencies, the East Asian countries (except Japan) are likely to continue to stabilize exchange rates and to accumulate international reserves. Yet expectations of further dollar depreciation may trigger a re-orientation of exchange rate policies based on basket strategies. Rolling econometric estimations of the basket structures in East Asia suggest growing weights for the Japanese yen in most East Asian currency baskets. The role of the euro as a reserve currency in East Asia remains uncertain.

Both before and after the Asian crisis, the dollar has been the dominant anchor and reserve currency in East Asia. Due to underdeveloped capital markets and the limited international role of their domestic currencies, the East Asian countries (except Japan) are likely to continue to stabilize exchange rates and to accumulate international reserves. Yet expectations of further dollar depreciation may trigger a re-orientation of exchange rate policies based on basket strategies. Rolling econometric estimations of the basket structures in East Asia suggest growing weights for the Japanese yen in most East Asian currency baskets. The role of the euro as a reserve currency in East Asia remains uncertain.

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Asian Equity Markets: Growth,Opportunities, and Challenges

Asian equity markets have grown significantly in size since the early 1990s, driven by strong international investor inflows, growing regional financial integration, capital account liberalization, and structural improvements to markets. The development of equity markets provides a more diversified set of channels for financial intermediation to support growth, thus bolstering medium-term financial stability. At the same time, as highlighted by the May-June 2006 market corrections, the increasing role of stock markets potentially changes the nature of macroeconomic and financial stability risks, as well as the policy requirements for dealing with these risks.

Asian equity markets have grown significantly in size since the early 1990s, driven by strong international investor inflows, growing regional financial integration, capital account liberalization, and structural improvements to markets. The development of equity markets provides a more diversified set of channels for financial intermediation to support growth, thus bolstering medium-term financial stability. At the same time, as highlighted by the May-June 2006 market corrections, the increasing role of stock markets potentially changes the nature of macroeconomic and financial stability risks, as well as the policy requirements for dealing with these risks.

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Is Asia Prepared for an Aging Population?

Many Asian countries (such as China, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines) will experience a significant aging of their populations during the next several decades. This paper explores how these aging Asian countries are addressing and anticipating the challenges of an aging society. It suggests that Asia's preparedness for an aging population is decidedly mixed. While growth policies have been successful, much work is still needed in many countries to establish an adequate and farsighted policy framework in the areas of pensions, health insurance, and labor market policies.

Many Asian countries (such as China, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines) will experience a significant aging of their populations during the next several decades. This paper explores how these aging Asian countries are addressing and anticipating the challenges of an aging society. It suggests that Asia's preparedness for an aging population is decidedly mixed. While growth policies have been successful, much work is still needed in many countries to establish an adequate and farsighted policy framework in the areas of pensions, health insurance, and labor market policies.

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Korea's Market Trends (Jan. 2 - 5)

Money Market, Bond Market, Equity Market, and Foreign Exchange Market analysis from the past week. Three-year government bond yields and AA- Corporate bond yield each dropped 5 basis points to 4.88% and 5.25% respectively. The KOSPI dropped 3% this week to close at 1,385.8 while the KOSDAQ dropped 1% to 602.4. The Won weakened 4.4 Won per dolar to 934.2 Won per dollar.

Money Market, Bond Market, Equity Market, and Foreign Exchange Market analysis from the past week. Three-year government bond yields and AA- Corporate bond yield each dropped 5 basis points to 4.88% and 5.25% respectively. The KOSPI dropped 3% this week to close at 1,385.8 while the KOSDAQ dropped 1% to 602.4. The Won weakened 4.4 Won per dolar to 934.2 Won per dollar.

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south_korea

Vietnam's Membership in WTO to Increase Investment Competition

Taiwan currently leads all foreign investments in Vietnam at US$7.9 billion. However, with Vietnam's recent acceptance to the WTO, Taiwan will be facing tough competition from the US, Europe, Japan, and Korea. If three major projects are approved by the Vietnamese government, US investment will double to $8 billion, possibly eclipsing Taiwan's total. Taiwanese investors need to adjust their investment strategies in line with Vietnam's shift from labor intensive industries to IT and hi-tech manufacturing. According to figures from the Taiwans Bureau of Foreign Trade, two-way trade between Vietnam and Taiwan amounted to $4 billion last year, with Taiwans export of $3.4 billion from Taiwan.

Taiwan currently leads all foreign investments in Vietnam at US$7.9 billion. However, with Vietnam's recent acceptance to the WTO, Taiwan will be facing tough competition from the US, Europe, Japan, and Korea. If three major projects are approved by the Vietnamese government, US investment will double to $8 billion, possibly eclipsing Taiwan's total. Taiwanese investors need to adjust their investment strategies in line with Vietnam's shift from labor intensive industries to IT and hi-tech manufacturing. According to figures from the Taiwans Bureau of Foreign Trade, two-way trade between Vietnam and Taiwan amounted to $4 billion last year, with Taiwans export of $3.4 billion from Taiwan.

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Consumer Survery Index of December 2006

"Both Consumer Expectations Index (CEI) and Consumer Present Situation Index (CPSI) fell from a month earlier in December. Seasonally adjusted CEI and CPSI also edged down from the previous month."

"Both Consumer Expectations Index (CEI) and Consumer Present Situation Index (CPSI) fell from a month earlier in December. Seasonally adjusted CEI and CPSI also edged down from the previous month."

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south_korea

ROK Not Keeping Pace

The Korean government expects the economy to grow more slowly than the world average for the fifth year in a row,, posting 4.5% GDP growth in 2007 compared to the IMF's estimated 4.9% global average growth. The current account surpluss is expected to fall to US$1 billion, a significant decrease from the 2006 surplus of US$6 billion.

The Korean government expects the economy to grow more slowly than the world average for the fifth year in a row,, posting 4.5% GDP growth in 2007 compared to the IMF's estimated 4.9% global average growth. The current account surpluss is expected to fall to US$1 billion, a significant decrease from the 2006 surplus of US$6 billion.

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south_korea

IBOR Rates in Asia

Inter Bank Offered Rates (Ibor Rates), Benchmark Rates, and Date Last Changed.

Inter Bank Offered Rates (Ibor Rates), Benchmark Rates, and Date Last Changed.

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south_korea

Daily Economic Indicators

Check this report for daily statistics regarding Interest Rates, Equity Markets, Exchange Rates, Real Economy Indicators, Goverment Expenditures, and General Account Expendetures.

Check this report for daily statistics regarding Interest Rates, Equity Markets, Exchange Rates, Real Economy Indicators, Goverment Expenditures, and General Account Expendetures.

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south_korea

Korea Expects 10.4% Export Growth in 2007

According to Ministry of Commer, Industry, and Energy Report "Forecasts of Exports and Improts in 2007," Korea can expect a 10.4% increase in exports, reaching US$360 billion this year. Semiconductors, Automobiles, and Ships wil lead the push as raw material prices are expected to remain stable.

According to Ministry of Commer, Industry, and Energy Report "Forecasts of Exports and Improts in 2007," Korea can expect a 10.4% increase in exports, reaching US$360 billion this year. Semiconductors, Automobiles, and Ships wil lead the push as raw material prices are expected to remain stable.

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south_korea

Myanmar Commits Its Gas to Japan and South Korea, Leaving India in the Cold

This may be the biggest set back for Indian growth. The Myanmar-India gas pipeline deal has been placed on the back burner. Myanmar has decided to set up LNG projects with Japan and South Korea instead.

This may be the biggest set back for Indian growth. The Myanmar-India gas pipeline deal has been placed on the back burner. Myanmar has decided to set up LNG projects with Japan and South Korea instead.

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south_korea

South Korea's Workforce Aging Rapidly

The National Statistical Office has put forth an survsy highlighting S. Korea's aging population. In some districts the elderly account for more than 20 percent of the citizens. Industries like fishery, agriculture, and forestry have seen a sharp decline in workers while the services industry still manages to attract its share of labor.

The National Statistical Office has put forth an survsy highlighting S. Korea's aging population. In some districts the elderly account for more than 20 percent of the citizens. Industries like fishery, agriculture, and forestry have seen a sharp decline in workers while the services industry still manages to attract its share of labor.

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south_korea

Korea Market Trends - Dec. 26-29

Money Market, Bond Market, Equity Market, and Foreign Exchange Market analysis from the past week.

  • * AA- corporate bonds and three-year government bonds fell 2 basis points to 5.29% and 4.92% Respectively.
  • * KOSPI and KOSDAQ indices remained relatively stable.
  • * Like other Asian currencies, the Won suffered indirectly from Thailand's restrictions on foreign-currency transactions.

Money Market, Bond Market, Equity Market, and Foreign Exchange Market analysis from the past week.

  • * AA- corporate bonds and three-year government bonds fell 2 basis points to 5.29% and 4.92% Respectively.
  • * KOSPI and KOSDAQ indices remained relatively stable.
  • * Like other Asian currencies, the Won suffered indirectly from Thailand's restrictions on foreign-currency transactions.

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south_korea

Indonesia and South Korea Sign Bilateral Swap Agreement

The Bank of Korea and Bank Indonesia signed a bilateral swap agreement which allows both countries to secure short-term loans from each other. In addition, both countries can use the swap facilities when they need short-term liquidity.

The Bank of Korea and Bank Indonesia signed a bilateral swap agreement which allows both countries to secure short-term loans from each other. In addition, both countries can use the swap facilities when they need short-term liquidity.

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south_korea

Financial Versus Monetary Mercantilism-Long-run View of Large International Reserves Hoarding

The sizable hoarding of international reserves by several East Asian countries has been frequently attributed to a modern version of monetary mercantilism -- hoarding international reserves in order to improve competitiveness. Taking a long-run perspective, we point out that manufacturing exporters in East Asia frequently used financial mercantilism -- subsidizing the cost of capital -- during decades of high growth. The switches to sizable hoarding of international reserves happened when growth floundered or deep crises erupted, exacerbating financial fragility as the legacy of past financial mercantilism. As financial fragility may lead to currency crises, the rise of non-performing loans provides impetus for the precautionary hoarding of international reserves, making it harder to disentangle the monetary mercantilism from precautionary response to the heritage of past financial mercantilism. Monetary mercantilism also raises the prospects of competitive hoarding -- exporters of competing manufacturing goods to third markets would adopt a similar hoarding policy, in order to mitigate their deteriorating competitiveness following the adoption of monetary mercantilism by a competitor. Competitive hoarding, owing to the negative externalities associated with it, can dissipate competitiveness gains and result in excess reserves. It may also encourage the formation of institutions like regional funds, in an attempt to curb these adverse externalities.

The sizable hoarding of international reserves by several East Asian countries has been frequently attributed to a modern version of monetary mercantilism -- hoarding international reserves in order to improve competitiveness. Taking a long-run perspective, we point out that manufacturing exporters in East Asia frequently used financial mercantilism -- subsidizing the cost of capital -- during decades of high growth. The switches to sizable hoarding of international reserves happened when growth floundered or deep crises erupted, exacerbating financial fragility as the legacy of past financial mercantilism. As financial fragility may lead to currency crises, the rise of non-performing loans provides impetus for the precautionary hoarding of international reserves, making it harder to disentangle the monetary mercantilism from precautionary response to the heritage of past financial mercantilism. Monetary mercantilism also raises the prospects of competitive hoarding -- exporters of competing manufacturing goods to third markets would adopt a similar hoarding policy, in order to mitigate their deteriorating competitiveness following the adoption of monetary mercantilism by a competitor. Competitive hoarding, owing to the negative externalities associated with it, can dissipate competitiveness gains and result in excess reserves. It may also encourage the formation of institutions like regional funds, in an attempt to curb these adverse externalities.

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south_korea

Hong Kong, Singapore And The East Asian Crisis: A First Look At The Importance Of Trade Spillovers

The literature on the East Asian crisis has concentrated almost exclusively on the five crisis-hit econmoies of Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines (Asia-5). Relatvely scant attention has been paid to Hond Kong and Singapore, both of which also suffered from contagious fallout from the crisis despite being well acknowledged as having relatively sound finacial and economical fundamentals.This paper examines the extent to wihich trade spillovers, both direct and indirect, have been impprtant in transmitting the regional downturn from the Asia-5 economies to Kong Kong and Singapore.

The literature on the East Asian crisis has concentrated almost exclusively on the five crisis-hit econmoies of Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines (Asia-5). Relatvely scant attention has been paid to Hond Kong and Singapore, both of which also suffered from contagious fallout from the crisis despite being well acknowledged as having relatively sound finacial and economical fundamentals.This paper examines the extent to wihich trade spillovers, both direct and indirect, have been impprtant in transmitting the regional downturn from the Asia-5 economies to Kong Kong and Singapore.

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south_korea

South Korea Faces Economic Uncertainty

Korea's economy is expected to post solid growth this year on robust exports but may face a series of downside risks next year, experts say. In fact, the Bank of Korea forecast next year's growth rate to 4.4 percent, a drop from 5 percent. Furthermore, the central bank said private spending, one of the key determinants for South Korea's economic recovery, will advance 4 percent in 2007 from a year earlier, down from a 4.2 percent expansion this year. Goods export growth will also fall to 10.8 percent next year from 12.9 percent this year.

Korea's economy is expected to post solid growth this year on robust exports but may face a series of downside risks next year, experts say. In fact, the Bank of Korea forecast next year's growth rate to 4.4 percent, a drop from 5 percent. Furthermore, the central bank said private spending, one of the key determinants for South Korea's economic recovery, will advance 4 percent in 2007 from a year earlier, down from a 4.2 percent expansion this year. Goods export growth will also fall to 10.8 percent next year from 12.9 percent this year.

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south_korea

Global Imbalances and Emerging Markets

There has been a massive increase in foreign currency reserves held by a group of ten East Asian economies since the 1997-98 crises. At the end of March 2006, the reserves of this group stood at $2.6 trillion, accounting for 57 percent of total global reserves.

There has been a massive increase in foreign currency reserves held by a group of ten East Asian economies since the 1997-98 crises. At the end of March 2006, the reserves of this group stood at $2.6 trillion, accounting for 57 percent of total global reserves.

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south_korea

Monetary Cooperation in East Asia: How Far Can East Asian Countries Go?

The paper intends to discuss monetary cooperation in East Asia by answering the following three questions: (1) Do the member countries of the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) have potentials to form an Optimal Currency Area (OCA)? (2) What are the obstacles for establishing an institutionalized monetary regime from practical point of view? (3) What is the timeline for forming a monetary union in the region?

The paper intends to discuss monetary cooperation in East Asia by answering the following three questions: (1) Do the member countries of the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) have potentials to form an Optimal Currency Area (OCA)? (2) What are the obstacles for establishing an institutionalized monetary regime from practical point of view? (3) What is the timeline for forming a monetary union in the region?

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south_korea

India Pushes for Stable Oil Prices

Major energy consuming countries meet in Beijing to encourage oil producing countires to increase investment in supply capacities. India hopes the international community will communicate the need for resource transparency. The other countries include the US, China, Japan, and South Korea.

Major energy consuming countries meet in Beijing to encourage oil producing countires to increase investment in supply capacities. India hopes the international community will communicate the need for resource transparency. The other countries include the US, China, Japan, and South Korea.

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south_korea

Asian Economic Integration: ASEAN +3+1 or ASEAN +1s?

In this paper an attempt is made to evaluate the most efficient approach to regional economic integration in Asia. For the purpose, Asia is defined as inclusive of ASEAN, the plus three economies of China, Japan, Korea and India that is the ASEAN plus four. Given that ASEAN is an existing regional bloc in Asia, alternative approaches to the alignment of the plus four economies with ASEAN for the formation of the ASEAN+4 trade bloc have been evaluated to determine if there are efficiency costs by way of distortion in the patterns of trade away from those expected on the basis of comparative advantage. The findings of our analysis underscore the efficiency of a prior alignment with ASEAN for all the plus four economies.

In this paper an attempt is made to evaluate the most efficient approach to regional economic integration in Asia. For the purpose, Asia is defined as inclusive of ASEAN, the plus three economies of China, Japan, Korea and India that is the ASEAN plus four. Given that ASEAN is an existing regional bloc in Asia, alternative approaches to the alignment of the plus four economies with ASEAN for the formation of the ASEAN+4 trade bloc have been evaluated to determine if there are efficiency costs by way of distortion in the patterns of trade away from those expected on the basis of comparative advantage. The findings of our analysis underscore the efficiency of a prior alignment with ASEAN for all the plus four economies.

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south_korea

Korean Businessmen Want to Collaborate with Vietnamese Partners

Korean businessmen want to establish a long-term partnership with Vietnamese partners in the construction materials, plastics, audio equipment, medicine, cosmetics, and tourism industries, according to Choi Chul, president of Eum Seong Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In addition, the Deputy Director of Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated that the cultural similarity between the two countries will help boost their investment and commercial collaboration.

Vietnam exports raw materials, agro-forestry products, and seafood to Korea. Meanwhile, the latter's exported goods to Vietnam include raw materials for production of clothing, footwear, and machines.

Korean businessmen want to establish a long-term partnership with Vietnamese partners in the construction materials, plastics, audio equipment, medicine, cosmetics, and tourism industries, according to Choi Chul, president of Eum Seong Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In addition, the Deputy Director of Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated that the cultural similarity between the two countries will help boost their investment and commercial collaboration.

Vietnam exports raw materials, agro-forestry products, and seafood to Korea. Meanwhile, the latter's exported goods to Vietnam include raw materials for production of clothing, footwear, and machines.

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south_korea

Indonesia is Ready to Take 60,000 Jobs in South Korea

South Korea has 60,000 jobs offered in the industry, manufacturing, construction, fisheries, agriculture and stock breeding sectors, which gives Indonesian workers the opportunity to work in the country. With the signed Memorandum of Understanding between two countries, prospective workers will not have to pay any registration fees and will receive their wages on the basis of minimum wages in South Korea. In addition, South Korean government stressed that they only accommodate direct employment and doesn't want to go through third parties to avoid levies.

South Korea has 60,000 jobs offered in the industry, manufacturing, construction, fisheries, agriculture and stock breeding sectors, which gives Indonesian workers the opportunity to work in the country. With the signed Memorandum of Understanding between two countries, prospective workers will not have to pay any registration fees and will receive their wages on the basis of minimum wages in South Korea. In addition, South Korean government stressed that they only accommodate direct employment and doesn't want to go through third parties to avoid levies.

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south_korea

Basic Rules for Real Estate Investment in South Korea

As the real estate market grows in South Korea investors have to grow their knowledge base as well.

As the real estate market grows in South Korea investors have to grow their knowledge base as well.

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south_korea

Manila Postpones ASEAN Summit to January

An official announcement released by Ambassador Marciano Paynor, head of the Philippine organizing committee, said that the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, scheduled next week in Cebu, has been postponed to January due to a strong storm heading the island. The ambassador also denied reports that the postponement was made due to possible terrorist attacks at the site of the summit.

An official announcement released by Ambassador Marciano Paynor, head of the Philippine organizing committee, said that the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, scheduled next week in Cebu, has been postponed to January due to a strong storm heading the island. The ambassador also denied reports that the postponement was made due to possible terrorist attacks at the site of the summit.

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south_korea

ADB: Economic Growth in East Asia to Remain Strong in 2007

Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicted that East Asia's economic growth will continue to be strong next year after the expected robust performance of East Asian economies this year. However, the bank warned that the danger of financial market turbulence which could affect Asia is also increasing. Also, ADB suggested that there could be a slight decrease on the demand for East Asia's exports, due to an expected slowdown in growth in the US and euro area. Coupled with strong domestic consumption, this should maintain economic expansion across the East Asian region, the lender bank argued.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicted that East Asia's economic growth will continue to be strong next year after the expected robust performance of East Asian economies this year. However, the bank warned that the danger of financial market turbulence which could affect Asia is also increasing. Also, ADB suggested that there could be a slight decrease on the demand for East Asia's exports, due to an expected slowdown in growth in the US and euro area. Coupled with strong domestic consumption, this should maintain economic expansion across the East Asian region, the lender bank argued.

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south_korea

Indonesia and South Korea Agreed to Boost Bilateral Trade and Investment

Indonesian President Yudyohono and his South Korean counterpart Moo-Hyun have agreed to heighten bilateral trade and South Korean investment in Indonesia. The Indonesian President wants to further increase trade because his country sees Korea as a strategic partner in the econmic field. Furthermore, South Korea was the fifth largest source of investment for the country with a total 655 million dollars invested. Also, President Moo-Hyun said that the two countries could further develop cooperation in IT, forestry, military modernization, and infrastracture expansion.

Indonesian President Yudyohono and his South Korean counterpart Moo-Hyun have agreed to heighten bilateral trade and South Korean investment in Indonesia. The Indonesian President wants to further increase trade because his country sees Korea as a strategic partner in the econmic field. Furthermore, South Korea was the fifth largest source of investment for the country with a total 655 million dollars invested. Also, President Moo-Hyun said that the two countries could further develop cooperation in IT, forestry, military modernization, and infrastracture expansion.

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south_korea

US and Asian Economies Differ Over Free Trade Bloc Process

The United States and Asian economies are at odds on how to implement a plan to set up a Asia-Pacific free trade area. The Asian economies want to start a free trade area among themselves before considering a free trade area for the Asia-Pacific. However, the US government wants to implement these plans simulataneously. Washington is pushing a prompt implementation of the Asia-Pacific plan because it would jolt non-Apec members, such as Brazil and India, to restart talks for a new global trace pact.

The United States and Asian economies are at odds on how to implement a plan to set up a Asia-Pacific free trade area. The Asian economies want to start a free trade area among themselves before considering a free trade area for the Asia-Pacific. However, the US government wants to implement these plans simulataneously. Washington is pushing a prompt implementation of the Asia-Pacific plan because it would jolt non-Apec members, such as Brazil and India, to restart talks for a new global trace pact.

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south_korea

South Korea's Economics of English

As Korea seeks to become more competitive in the era of globalization it must confront and admit the indespensible value of the English language's role in international business and thus, create an environment and technologies that make learning the widely used language easier.

As Korea seeks to become more competitive in the era of globalization it must confront and admit the indespensible value of the English language's role in international business and thus, create an environment and technologies that make learning the widely used language easier.

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south_korea

China's Technology Catching Up with Korea

Technology leaks have been helping China to catch up with Korea. Cutting edge technologies are flowing out of Korea into China and many other nations via internal accomplices. A total of 83 overseas technology leakage cases were discovered since 2003 to October this year. If these transactions were not intercepted, the estimated loss would have been 91.8 trillion won in national wealth.

Technology leaks have been helping China to catch up with Korea. Cutting edge technologies are flowing out of Korea into China and many other nations via internal accomplices. A total of 83 overseas technology leakage cases were discovered since 2003 to October this year. If these transactions were not intercepted, the estimated loss would have been 91.8 trillion won in national wealth.

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south_korea

Central Bankers Upbeat Over Global Growth Next Year

The world's top central bankers discussed the future of global growth. There seems to be a consensus that the global economy was strong and sustainable, but in order to mitigate risks banks would have to fix their attention on inflation. Some hint to continued raises in interest rates to offset "overly optimistic investment".

The world's top central bankers discussed the future of global growth. There seems to be a consensus that the global economy was strong and sustainable, but in order to mitigate risks banks would have to fix their attention on inflation. Some hint to continued raises in interest rates to offset "overly optimistic investment".

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south_korea

S. Korean Gov't Announces Shareholding Cap Plan

The Fair Trade Commission discussed a reform plan introduced by the governmnet that would relax shareholding caps, raise the ratio of shareholding that is allowed for financing purposes, and reduce restrictions on the required amount of shares needed in order to be considered a holding company.

The Fair Trade Commission discussed a reform plan introduced by the governmnet that would relax shareholding caps, raise the ratio of shareholding that is allowed for financing purposes, and reduce restrictions on the required amount of shares needed in order to be considered a holding company.

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south_korea

What Interst Rates Mean for the Korean Housing Market

The debate over rising house and apartment prices and a potential "asset price bubble" has economic scrutinizing the relationship between interest rates and housing prices. Some economist suggest effective measures like market deregulations and increased fiscal policy oversight, which could stimulate the economy and cool house prices simultaneously.

The debate over rising house and apartment prices and a potential "asset price bubble" has economic scrutinizing the relationship between interest rates and housing prices. Some economist suggest effective measures like market deregulations and increased fiscal policy oversight, which could stimulate the economy and cool house prices simultaneously.

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south_korea

APEC Shelves Free Trade Zone Plans

The Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation forum has shelved plans to create a "vast free trade area" that would aggregate the numerous bi-lateral and regional tarde agreements in the region. The ambitious proposal lost mometum to various side deals at the forum. APEC has shifted its focus to resurrecting talks on the Doha round of the WTO.

The Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation forum has shelved plans to create a "vast free trade area" that would aggregate the numerous bi-lateral and regional tarde agreements in the region. The ambitious proposal lost mometum to various side deals at the forum. APEC has shifted its focus to resurrecting talks on the Doha round of the WTO.

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south_korea

South Korea's Service Trade Deficit Increases

South Korea's service trade balance is in the "red" resulting in a service trade deficit. The deficit has been attributed to an increase in Korean tourism and students studying abroad, which has been sparked by a strong won currency.

South Korea's service trade balance is in the "red" resulting in a service trade deficit. The deficit has been attributed to an increase in Korean tourism and students studying abroad, which has been sparked by a strong won currency.

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south_korea

Korea's Low National Income Leads to Economic Troubles

The National Assembly states, "Korea will take about ten years to raise national income levels." This has risen worries about Korea's national economic growth. Korea has experienced high revaluation rates, but has been unable to increase national income because of overall low growth.

The National Assembly states, "Korea will take about ten years to raise national income levels." This has risen worries about Korea's national economic growth. Korea has experienced high revaluation rates, but has been unable to increase national income because of overall low growth.

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south_korea

Vietnam Enjoys Inflows of Foreign Direct Investment

The Korea Investment Trust Management Company KITMC has opened its first representative office in Ho Chi Minh City. This marks the changing dynamics in stock market rekations between the two countries. This recent move further highlights Vietnam's overall economic potential for growth. The Vietnamese government seeks to secure favorable investment climates for foreign investors in order to increase the surge of financial inflows it is currently receiveing.

The Korea Investment Trust Management Company KITMC has opened its first representative office in Ho Chi Minh City. This marks the changing dynamics in stock market rekations between the two countries. This recent move further highlights Vietnam's overall economic potential for growth. The Vietnamese government seeks to secure favorable investment climates for foreign investors in order to increase the surge of financial inflows it is currently receiveing.

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south_korea

Blue House/ Bank of Korea Meeting for Interest Rate Cooperation?

A recent meeting between Presidential Secretary for Social Policies, Kim Soo-hyun and BOK's Gov. Lee Seong-tae has raised questions concerning the contreversy surrounding S. Korean housing prices and the government's role in raising or lowering interest rates. Whether or no the meeting was focused on this issue is unclear, however, bond interest rates were certainly affected by the visit.

A recent meeting between Presidential Secretary for Social Policies, Kim Soo-hyun and BOK's Gov. Lee Seong-tae has raised questions concerning the contreversy surrounding S. Korean housing prices and the government's role in raising or lowering interest rates. Whether or no the meeting was focused on this issue is unclear, however, bond interest rates were certainly affected by the visit.

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south_korea

Asian Market: Potential Risks Ahead

Although Asian stock markets have performed very well this past year, analysts foresee a risk ahead. The next 12 months are said to prove extremely volatile for equity markets in Asia, as regional instability increases.

Although Asian stock markets have performed very well this past year, analysts foresee a risk ahead. The next 12 months are said to prove extremely volatile for equity markets in Asia, as regional instability increases.

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south_korea

Daewoo Motors Founder Loses Appeal

Founder of Daewoo Motors, Kim Woo-choong, lost his appeal against a conviction for embezzlement and fraud, but his jail sentence was cut to eight-and-a-half years from 10 years. Prosecutors called for a longer sentence, alleging he had bribed government officials and politicians to grow his empire and get bank loans. However, evidence for this could not be proved.

Founder of Daewoo Motors, Kim Woo-choong, lost his appeal against a conviction for embezzlement and fraud, but his jail sentence was cut to eight-and-a-half years from 10 years. Prosecutors called for a longer sentence, alleging he had bribed government officials and politicians to grow his empire and get bank loans. However, evidence for this could not be proved.

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south_korea

South Korea Talks FTA with U.S.

On Oct. 23rd, South Korea and the U.S resumed contentious talks to create a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).


This FTA will create the biggest U.S. trade pact since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. The FTA has the potential to improve efficiency of U.S. industries, particularly the service sector, by exposing them to fierce competition. Both sides have strong will to conclude the negotiation by the end of this year. In this meeting the two nations also discussed how to deal with the North Korean nuclear crisis. Thus far, Seoul has taken the softer negotiation approach with patient dialogue but the U.S. has insisted on a more confrontational strategy against Pyongyang.

On Oct. 23rd, South Korea and the U.S resumed contentious talks to create a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).


This FTA will create the biggest U.S. trade pact since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. The FTA has the potential to improve efficiency of U.S. industries, particularly the service sector, by exposing them to fierce competition. Both sides have strong will to conclude the negotiation by the end of this year. In this meeting the two nations also discussed how to deal with the North Korean nuclear crisis. Thus far, Seoul has taken the softer negotiation approach with patient dialogue but the U.S. has insisted on a more confrontational strategy against Pyongyang.

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south_korea

Asian Markets End Broadly Higher

Most Asian markets ended slightly higher Wednesday, particularly in Singapore and Shanghai's exchanges. Unfortunately the same news can not be shared for Japan's Nikkei, which edged 0.2% lower to 16,375.26.

Most Asian markets ended slightly higher Wednesday, particularly in Singapore and Shanghai's exchanges. Unfortunately the same news can not be shared for Japan's Nikkei, which edged 0.2% lower to 16,375.26.

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south_korea

Strike Costs Hyundai and Kia Motors Billions

A strike by Hyundai Motor workers earlier this year costs the company 1.3 trillion won, marking it the second worst strike in history. Kia Motors reported its first loss since 1998 because of the strike. Kia had a third-quarter loss of 43.9 billion won compared with a profit of 75.9 billion won a year ago.

A strike by Hyundai Motor workers earlier this year costs the company 1.3 trillion won, marking it the second worst strike in history. Kia Motors reported its first loss since 1998 because of the strike. Kia had a third-quarter loss of 43.9 billion won compared with a profit of 75.9 billion won a year ago.

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south_korea

Hynix Net Income Falls 25 Percent

South Korea's second-largest Asian maker of memory chips reported its biggest profit decline in five quarters. The decline of the Hynix Semiconductor occurred after prices of chips used in consumer electronics slid.

South Korea's second-largest Asian maker of memory chips reported its biggest profit decline in five quarters. The decline of the Hynix Semiconductor occurred after prices of chips used in consumer electronics slid.

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south_korea

Asia: Stocks at a Five-Month High

Asian stocks were at a five-month high Monday as word spread that strong earnings would be reported for Toyota Motor and Hyundai Motor companies. Toyota advanced ¥80 to ¥6,960. Hyundai Motor climbed 1,300 won to 77,800 won.

Asian stocks were at a five-month high Monday as word spread that strong earnings would be reported for Toyota Motor and Hyundai Motor companies. Toyota advanced ¥80 to ¥6,960. Hyundai Motor climbed 1,300 won to 77,800 won.

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south_korea

Global Markets Considered Stable

Despite current political situations, the world markets are very stable according to Kenneth Rogoff, an IMF research director and a Harvard Professor of Economics. At a Knowledge Forum in Seoul, Professor Rogoff stated that there were little fluctuations in output and consumption, even after North Korea's nuclear test, which leads him to believe that the global markets have little volatility right now.

Despite current political situations, the world markets are very stable according to Kenneth Rogoff, an IMF research director and a Harvard Professor of Economics. At a Knowledge Forum in Seoul, Professor Rogoff stated that there were little fluctuations in output and consumption, even after North Korea's nuclear test, which leads him to believe that the global markets have little volatility right now.

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south_korea

Account Deficit Forecasted for South Korea

The Korean economy is experiencing gradual stagnation as consumer spending continues to decline. The Korea Development Institute predicted a lower GDP growth rate for 2007 of only 4.3 percent. This year's forecast was said to be at 5.0 percent.

The Korean economy is experiencing gradual stagnation as consumer spending continues to decline. The Korea Development Institute predicted a lower GDP growth rate for 2007 of only 4.3 percent. This year's forecast was said to be at 5.0 percent.

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south_korea

S Korea Investigates False Citigroup Claims

South Korean prosecutors raided the Seoul offices of Citigroup in order to investigate claims that the KEB exaggerated their financial ill-health in order to speed up their sale to Lone Star in 2003.

South Korean prosecutors raided the Seoul offices of Citigroup in order to investigate claims that the KEB exaggerated their financial ill-health in order to speed up their sale to Lone Star in 2003.

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south_korea

South Korean Economy to Slow

The Korean Development Institute is forecasting that the economy of South Korea will slow to a growth rate of 4.3 percent next year. The Korean think tank stated that this would be due to low consumer consumption and a downturn in the global economy.

The Korean Development Institute is forecasting that the economy of South Korea will slow to a growth rate of 4.3 percent next year. The Korean think tank stated that this would be due to low consumer consumption and a downturn in the global economy.

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south_korea

Trade with S. Korea to Reach US$115b

Trade between China and South Korea grew 17.8 per cent and is expected to hit US$115 billion by the end of 2006. Over the past 14 years, bilateral trade between the two countries has increased about 20 times.

Trade between China and South Korea grew 17.8 per cent and is expected to hit US$115 billion by the end of 2006. Over the past 14 years, bilateral trade between the two countries has increased about 20 times.

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south_korea

India-Korea Agreement Close to Completion

India and South Korea are very close to finishing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The Koreans have been are looking for India to open up its exports and would like exports to be free of duties. India is also looking for the same except they would like to retain duties for certain items, like leather. There will be another meeting later this month to clear up details and then one in December to make the agreement final.

India and South Korea are very close to finishing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The Koreans have been are looking for India to open up its exports and would like exports to be free of duties. India is also looking for the same except they would like to retain duties for certain items, like leather. There will be another meeting later this month to clear up details and then one in December to make the agreement final.

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Starbucks Loses Lawsuit on Trademark in Korea

The world's largest coffee-shop chain has lost a trademark dispute with a South Korean company "Starpreya". The South Korean company's logo is a woman's face within a circle of green, similar to the symbol of Starbucks.

The world's largest coffee-shop chain has lost a trademark dispute with a South Korean company "Starpreya". The South Korean company's logo is a woman's face within a circle of green, similar to the symbol of Starbucks.

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south_korea

Profit-taking Weighs on Nikkei; South Korea Lower

Asian stocks finished mixed Wednesday, with Japan's Nikkei sinking to a multi-month low.

Asian stocks finished mixed Wednesday, with Japan's Nikkei sinking to a multi-month low.

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south_korea

Hard-line Action Against North Korea

Leaders from many countries are in agreement that North Korea should not have tested its nuclear bomb and now are looking to take a hard-line stance that so that North Korea will not test another atomic bomb. Japan, China, South Korea, the US and other UN nations are deep in discussion on this delicate topic.

Leaders from many countries are in agreement that North Korea should not have tested its nuclear bomb and now are looking to take a hard-line stance that so that North Korea will not test another atomic bomb. Japan, China, South Korea, the US and other UN nations are deep in discussion on this delicate topic.

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south_korea

S. Korean Shares Fall Following N. Korea Nuke Test

South Korean stocks closed at their lowest level in more than six weeks following North Korea's announcement that it has conducted an underground nuclear weapon test.

South Korean stocks closed at their lowest level in more than six weeks following North Korea's announcement that it has conducted an underground nuclear weapon test.

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south_korea

N Korea 'Nuclear Test' Condemned

North Korea announced it had carried out a successful underground nuclear test today. it following through on a threat issued last week and defied repeated calls from around the world to stand down.

North Korea announced it had carried out a successful underground nuclear test today. it following through on a threat issued last week and defied repeated calls from around the world to stand down.

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south_korea

Chevron to Invest $6 billion in Indonesia Gas Fields

Chevron Corp. plans to invest $6 billion to develop gas fields off the coast of Borneo.  Indonesia is the world's top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter but has recently encountered problems in fulfilling contractual commitments to traditional buyers such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.  Chevron hopes to alleviate the production issues by boosting its output from the Gehem and Gendalo fields,  which they believe will offset the slowdown of other gas fields in the region.

Chevron Corp. plans to invest $6 billion to develop gas fields off the coast of Borneo.  Indonesia is the world's top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter but has recently encountered problems in fulfilling contractual commitments to traditional buyers such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.  Chevron hopes to alleviate the production issues by boosting its output from the Gehem and Gendalo fields,  which they believe will offset the slowdown of other gas fields in the region.

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south_korea

Japan's New PM Eagerly Looks to Better Ties with China and South Korea

Japan’s newly appointed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to travel to China and South Korea in hopes to mend relations with these two countries. After just taking office late last month, the Prime Minister is working fast to see that Japan can get on better terms with South Korea and China. Japan’s relationship with these two countries has hit rock bottom over the last decade due to the last Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, and his visit to the Yasukuni WWII shrine, which honors Class A criminals. PM Abe, Japan’s first Prime Minister who was born post WWII, is hoping that China and South Korea can look past this now and can cooperate on economic and political issues.

Japan’s newly appointed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to travel to China and South Korea in hopes to mend relations with these two countries. After just taking office late last month, the Prime Minister is working fast to see that Japan can get on better terms with South Korea and China. Japan’s relationship with these two countries has hit rock bottom over the last decade due to the last Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, and his visit to the Yasukuni WWII shrine, which honors Class A criminals. PM Abe, Japan’s first Prime Minister who was born post WWII, is hoping that China and South Korea can look past this now and can cooperate on economic and political issues.

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south_korea

Consumer Confidence Lowest in 7 Quarters

The central bank's consumer sentiment index fell to a seven-quarter low in the July-October period, riasing concerns that economic slowdown will dampen consumer spending.  The index dropped 5 points from 3 months earlier to 96, which is significantly less than the 109 posted during the first quarter of 2006.  A reading below 100 indicates that a majority of consumers are pessimistic about the economy, while a reading above 100 shows the opposite.  On a related note, the Business Sentiment Index also fell for the fourth straight month for August, reaching a grim level of 79 points.  Overall, Korea's current economic outlook is quite negative.

The central bank's consumer sentiment index fell to a seven-quarter low in the July-October period, riasing concerns that economic slowdown will dampen consumer spending.  The index dropped 5 points from 3 months earlier to 96, which is significantly less than the 109 posted during the first quarter of 2006.  A reading below 100 indicates that a majority of consumers are pessimistic about the economy, while a reading above 100 shows the opposite.  On a related note, the Business Sentiment Index also fell for the fourth straight month for August, reaching a grim level of 79 points.  Overall, Korea's current economic outlook is quite negative.

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south_korea

Oil Prices Fall Below $60 in Asia

Crude oil fell to below $60 a barrel this morning in the Asian markets. Oil prices have dropped nearly 25% since mid July. Experts say this is still a strong price, but some say its expected to rise before the end of the year.

Crude oil fell to below $60 a barrel this morning in the Asian markets. Oil prices have dropped nearly 25% since mid July. Experts say this is still a strong price, but some say its expected to rise before the end of the year.

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south_korea

Hyundai to Spend $1.5billion in India

Hyundai Motor Co. has laid down plans to construct a second car, engine, and transmission factory as well as a research and development center in India.  As South Korea's largest automobile producer, it will personally invest $911 million while its auto-parts makers will cover the rest.  Other car companies, such as General Motors and Honda Motor, are also looking to expand capacity in the world's second-fastest growing major economy.  India's passenger car sales in the fiscal year ending March 31st rose by 7.6% from the same time last year.  Car sales have risen in seven of the past 10 years, helped by economic expansion and interest rates that have fallen by 50% in the last five years.

Hyundai Motor Co. has laid down plans to construct a second car, engine, and transmission factory as well as a research and development center in India.  As South Korea's largest automobile producer, it will personally invest $911 million while its auto-parts makers will cover the rest.  Other car companies, such as General Motors and Honda Motor, are also looking to expand capacity in the world's second-fastest growing major economy.  India's passenger car sales in the fiscal year ending March 31st rose by 7.6% from the same time last year.  Car sales have risen in seven of the past 10 years, helped by economic expansion and interest rates that have fallen by 50% in the last five years.

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south_korea

Low Consumer Confidence Slows Growth in South Korea

Due to high interest rates, stricter mortgage leading, and government taxes on property trading, South Korea hit a 2-year consumer spending low.  Asia's 3rd largest economy has been slowing due to low household spending. The South Korean government is forecasting a decline in growth from 5% to 4.6% by next year.

Due to high interest rates, stricter mortgage leading, and government taxes on property trading, South Korea hit a 2-year consumer spending low.  Asia's 3rd largest economy has been slowing due to low household spending. The South Korean government is forecasting a decline in growth from 5% to 4.6% by next year.

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south_korea

Cost of Currency Stability Climbs in Korea

The Korea Times reports currency stabilization efforts cost the Republic of Korea 18 trillion won (US$18.8 billion), up from nearly 3 trillion won in 2003. These efforts have helped Korean exports post double digit growth over the years, but the bonds sold to stabalize Korean currency have amassed a balance of 67$ trillion won.

The Korea Times reports currency stabilization efforts cost the Republic of Korea 18 trillion won (US$18.8 billion), up from nearly 3 trillion won in 2003. These efforts have helped Korean exports post double digit growth over the years, but the bonds sold to stabalize Korean currency have amassed a balance of 67$ trillion won.

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south_korea

Finance Minister Warns of Growing Risk

South Korea's Finance Minister Kwon O-kyu adivises policymakers and investors to carefully monitor economic indicators as he expects another year of dampened growth.  Main factors include lingering high oil prices, as well as the U.S. economic slowdown that has been triggered by a depressed housing market.  However, the coming year's growth is still predicted at a healthy 4-5%, buffered by China's continued boom as well as rebounding economies in Japan and Europe.  Domestic consumer spending and investment has also recovered as of late.

South Korea's Finance Minister Kwon O-kyu adivises policymakers and investors to carefully monitor economic indicators as he expects another year of dampened growth.  Main factors include lingering high oil prices, as well as the U.S. economic slowdown that has been triggered by a depressed housing market.  However, the coming year's growth is still predicted at a healthy 4-5%, buffered by China's continued boom as well as rebounding economies in Japan and Europe.  Domestic consumer spending and investment has also recovered as of late.

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south_korea

US Beef Returns to South Korea

South Korea has finally agreed to readmit US beef exports, causing some worry in the Australian meat industry.  Since US beef was banned in 2004, Australia's share of the market has grown 120%, now worth $600 million.  Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) expects to lose 20% of its share in exported value after American trade resumes.

South Korea has finally agreed to readmit US beef exports, causing some worry in the Australian meat industry.  Since US beef was banned in 2004, Australia's share of the market has grown 120%, now worth $600 million.  Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) expects to lose 20% of its share in exported value after American trade resumes.

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south_korea

Most Asian Markets Rise as Lower Oil Prices Boost Shares in Tokyo

Indices in Hong Kong and Japan rebounded from recent loss-streaks as a fall in crude oil prices has alleviated market tension, boosting investor confidence and increasing activity.  Most east-Asian exchanges shared similar change of pace while trade in Southeast Asia remained relatively flat or declined slightly.

Indices in Hong Kong and Japan rebounded from recent loss-streaks as a fall in crude oil prices has alleviated market tension, boosting investor confidence and increasing activity.  Most east-Asian exchanges shared similar change of pace while trade in Southeast Asia remained relatively flat or declined slightly.

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south_korea

ASIA DEVELOPMENT OUTLOOK 2007

Despite challenges from rising oil costs, commodity costs, and interest rates, the Asia Development Bank expects 7.7% growth for 2007.

Despite challenges from rising oil costs, commodity costs, and interest rates, the Asia Development Bank expects 7.7% growth for 2007.

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south_korea

Job Market Looks to Be Tighter in 4th Quarter

The outlook for the job market tumbled to its bleakest level amid an economic slowdown and uncertainties about the second half of this year and next.

The outlook for the job market tumbled to its bleakest level amid an economic slowdown and uncertainties about the second half of this year and next.

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south_korea

Woori to Be Privatized by March 2008

The government plans to dispose of its controlling stake in the Woori Financial Group, the country's third-largest financial services company, by March 2008 in phases, the Ministry of Finance and Economy said yesterday.

The government plans to dispose of its controlling stake in the Woori Financial Group, the country's third-largest financial services company, by March 2008 in phases, the Ministry of Finance and Economy said yesterday.

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south_korea

Social Stigma Hounds Bankrupt Individuals

As people who report individual bankruptcies to the court are increasing in number, related problems are being detected.

As people who report individual bankruptcies to the court are increasing in number, related problems are being detected.

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south_korea

South Korea Floods North With Food Aid

South Korea has began a US$230 million relief effort in North Korea after massive flooding devestated North Korea's population and economy last month.  Casualty count is nearing 1000.

South Korea has began a US$230 million relief effort in North Korea after massive flooding devestated North Korea's population and economy last month.  Casualty count is nearing 1000.

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south_korea

Asian Stocks Up During U.S. Trading

Asian stocks rose due to heavy US trading for third day in a row.  Precious Metals also rallied.

Asian stocks rose due to heavy US trading for third day in a row.  Precious Metals also rallied.

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south_korea

Korean Develpment Institute posts Quartly Economic Outlook

South Korea's Korea Development Institute reports continued growth with signs of slowing. Despite somewhat negative outlook, KDI suggests no change in macroeconomic strategy. - READ MORE -

South Korea's Korea Development Institute reports continued growth with signs of slowing. Despite somewhat negative outlook, KDI suggests no change in macroeconomic strategy. - READ MORE -

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Other Important News In South_korea


South Korea's Go-Green Initiatives Might Improve Employment & Growth

As Asia's third-largest crude oil importer, South Korea announced its plans to invest 107 trillion won ($84 billion) in the next five years to help reduce dependency on fossil fuels and simultaneously spur economic growth.

Figures show that up to 1.8 million jobs may be created with the development of solar power. It is estimated that by 2010, the country will spend about 2 percent of its GDP annually to "reduce carbon emissions and diversify its exports," said Youk Hyun Soo, an official on the presidential committee for renewable energy. "South Korea is joining the U.S. and China in increasing public spending on the industry to achieve economic growth and energy-saving at the same time," said Hwang Chang Joong, the head of investment strategy at Woori Investment Securities Co. The government spending will include investments in luminescent diodes, used to make energy-saving flat-screen panels and lighting bulbs and solar-powered batteries, according to today's statement.

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Improved Outlook in Korean Shares

Stocks have the possibility of benefiting after the won's 18 percent fall against the dollar the past year, which made the currency more appealing, according to Credit Suisse. It is predicted that the South Korean currency will strengthen up to 15 percent over the next year.

Stocks have the possibility of benefiting after the won's 18 percent fall against the dollar the past year, which made the currency more appealing, according to Credit Suisse. It is predicted that the South Korean currency will strengthen up to 15 percent over the next year. Furthermore, Credit Suisse anticipates an increase in sells this year due to the "strong bounce" and greater political uncertainty. This would be a great opportunity for investors to accrue Korean shares of Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Display Co., since those exports have a "high operating leverage" in developed economies, such as the U.S and Europe. According to Credit Suisse, Samsung, Asia's largest maker of chips, flat screens and mobile phones, has a positive likelihood for better earnings. KB Financial Group Inc, Hyundai Mobis Co., Lotte Shopping Co. and Posco are a few of the brokerage's top selections.

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South korea has $19 billion plan to boost the economy

The government's plans are intended to make more effective a sector that has suffered from poor investment and sclerotic restrictions. In particular the government will revise current laws in order to help expand markets and grow domestic enterprises, while also focusing on raising their global competitiveness by developing core technologies and achieving international standards.

South Korea's government announces a plan that will benefit over 17 industries that belong of three categories: high value services,green technologies and converged industries. The high value services is health care, education and tourism. The second, converges industries such as broadcasting and communications, food production and pharmaceuticals. Green technologies segment involves a plan to create a environment friendly cities. The first quarter of 2009 the Korean economy rose 0.1 percent and GDP growth was positive. As a result of government fiscal stimulus measures, which grew consumer's confidence and stimulated domestic demand.

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South korea offers help to Algeria to diversify its economy

South Korea is offering a important partnership to Algeria, which is going to boost growth. The two countries are going to be partners toward a mutual benefits of technology transfers in fields that South Korea has managed.

South Korea is offering a important partnership to Algeria, which is going to boost growth. The two countries are going to be partners toward a mutual benefits of technology transfers in fields that South Korea has managed. South Korean vice minster of economy, Kim young Hak leaded a group of 70 businessmen visiting Algeria to create plans for cooperation. Algerian minister of industry and investment promotion, Hamid Temmar, who represented the African country said " The two countries can head towards a technological partnership notably in the sectors of electronics, mechanical engineering and petrochemicals". South Korea began to build factories in Algeria since 2008, with a private company Cevital and Samsung started to build firms in Selif (185 miles east of Algiers). At the same year, the south korean consortium Hyndai engineering and construction signed a contract to rebuild a refinery at Arzew , and Naftec, a subsidiary of the Algerian oil group Sonatrach near the western city of Oran.

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Korea Prices $3 Billion Global Bond

South Korea discovered yesterday that giving a little can elicit unexpected rewards. By conceding on pricing, it managed to raise one-and-half times more cash than it initially intended. Korea raised $3 billion with an issue of senior, fixed-rate, SEC-registered, dual-tranche global notes, priced bang in the middle of the early price guidance. The issue was split equally, with $1.5 billion each for the five- and 10-year tranches. The republic had originally planned for a $2 billion issue, so it must have been pleasantly surprised.

South Korea discovered yesterday that giving a little can elicit unexpected rewards. By conceding on pricing, it managed to raise one-and-half times more cash than it initially intended. Korea raised $3 billion with an issue of senior, fixed-rate, SEC-registered, dual-tranche global notes, priced bang in the middle of the early price guidance. The issue was split equally, with $1.5 billion each for the five- and 10-year tranches. The republic had originally planned for a $2 billion issue, so it must have been pleasantly surprised.

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Bank of Korea May Keep Interest Rate Unchanged at Record-Low 2%

The Bank of Korea may keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a second month as Governor Lee Seong Tae seeks signs that record-low borrowing costs and government stimulus are reviving the contracting economy. The central bank will leave the seven-day repurchase rate at 2 percent in Seoul today, according to nine of 11 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Two expect a quarter-point cut.

The Bank of Korea may keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a second month as Governor Lee Seong Tae seeks signs that record-low borrowing costs and government stimulus are reviving the contracting economy. The central bank will leave the seven-day repurchase rate at 2 percent in Seoul today, according to nine of 11 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Two expect a quarter-point cut.

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Korea Gas Sales Plunge as Power Demand Falls

Korea Gas Corp., currently the largest buyer of LNG in the world, has announced that domestic sales plunged 23% in February from a year earlier

Korea Gas Corp., currently the largest buyer of LNG in the world, has announced that domestic sales plunged 23% in February from a year earlier. Sales were down for the fifth month in February, declining to 2.48 million metric tons. The fall was largely attributed to power plants switching to cheaper oil. The cost of importing oil fell 48% last month from a year earlier, meanwhile, gas shipment costs rose 23%. Moreover, households and businesses used less gas these last months as the winter proved to be milder than usual. As a result consumption for gas fell 16%.

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South Korea:Trading Firms Focus on Natural Resources

South Korean firms are aiming to develop natural resources in an effort to generate new forms of revenue as the financial slowdown has posed many limitations to normal growth.

South Korean firms are aiming to develop natural resources in an effort to generate new forms of revenue as the financial slowdown has posed many limitations to normal growth. Korean LG corp., has set up a joint venture with a Canadian and a Japanese firm to develop a coal mine in Canada. The joint venture is worth around $11 million and will include access to the mine's 59 million tons of inferred coal resources. The amount would be equivalent to 90% of Korea's total coal imports last year. LG has also started mining for coal in Australia, Russia and Indonesia. The company has also focused on oil production in Oman and Kazakhstan. Another Korean firm, Daewoo International, has been exploring uranium, nickel and copper in Australia, Madagascar and Bolivia. Other Korean companies scrambling for natural resources abroad include; Samsung, SK Group, and SK Networks.

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Korea Signs Infrastructure for Minerals Deal with Congo

South Korea's Water Resources Corp. has signed an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo, under which the company will provide assistance for the DRC's water supply system and damn managements, in exchange for the African country's minerals.

South Korea's Water Resources Corp. has signed an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo, under which the company will provide assistance for the DRC's water supply system and damn managements, in exchange for the African country's minerals. Together with Korea Resources Corp, both companies signed an agreement for two ventures with the DRC's largest mining company, George Forest International Africa, and Alfonso Rowemberg Korea, an investment firm based in Seoul. Korea Water will be part of a $750 million project aimed at developing better water systems in the DRC. The Korean company will also invest on infrastructure projects , dam building and the construction of a cobalt processing factory and a cement factory in the DRC. The deal will allow Korea to secure 430,000 tons of copper, 21,500 tons of cobalt and 2,000 tons of uranium annually.

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Korea: Trade Surplus with H.K. Surges

South Korea has enjoyed its largest trade surplus with Honk Kong last year, as its exports to China slumped due to the global financial crisis.

South Korea has enjoyed its largest trade surplus with Honk Kong last year, as its exports to China slumped due to the global financial crisis. In fact, Korea's trade with Hong Kong surpassed its trade with China, South Korea's number one trader since 2002. South Korea's trade surplus with Hong Kong reached $17.55 billion last years, compared to a surplus of $14.46 billion with China. South Korea's exports however, have experienced a sharp fall, with a 17.1% year on year decline last month. The country also has seen its trade deficit with Japan and oil rich countries, such as Saudi Arabia and UAE, rise dramatically.

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