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Saturday, November 18, 2017

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Bithumb's daily trade volume of bitcoins on August 19 ran to 2.6 trillion won (US$2.3 billion), more than the trading volume in the KOSDAQ market of Korea.

What Should Be Done?

18 November 2017 - 2:30am
Michael Herh

As virtual currency speculation has spread like wild fire among Korean people, the number of those who invested in virtual currencies and suffered loss is on the rise. A typical example is a sharp rise and fall in the value of Bitcoin Cash on November 12. The Bitcoin Cash, which traded at 1,069,200 won (US$960) at 3:50 pm on November 11, rose to 2,839,700 won (US$2,550) 24 hours later at 3:50 pm on November 12 on the coattails of a hard fork (the issuance of new virtual money to enhance the value of virtual currencies). 

As the exchange website was crowded with too many users,...

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The domestic stock market showed a rising tendency based on KOSDAQ small and mid-size stocks regardless of the U.S. market declines.

Booming Seoul Bourse

17 November 2017 - 11:45am
Yoon Yung Sil

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or KOSPI, closed higher and bounced back to the 2,530 level on November 16. The secondary KOSDAQ index renewed its yearly high for the fourth consecutive day and surpassed the 780 level for the first time in two years and four months after July 2015. The KOSPI closed at 2,534.79 on the 16th, up 16.54 points or 0.66 percent, from 2,518.25 on the previous trading day.

The KOSPI index, which recently closed down for five trading days in a row, fell for a while right after opening higher but immediately bounced back to the 2,538 level...

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Tencent is currently making various types of partnership with Korean game publishers behind the scene.

Duo to Its Importance

17 November 2017 - 11:15am
Choi Mun-hee

“Various types of partnership with Korean game publishers are already in the making behind closed doors," said China’s Tencent about the Chinese government's ban on the import of Korean games. “We are not very concerned about it.”

"We are contacting various Korean companies for business ties under the table," said an official of Tencent Korea at the G-Star 2017 held at BEXCO, Busan on November 16. “In addition to Korean game imports, we are making various business ties such as the export of Tencent games to Korea.” 

"About 100 employees including the vice-chairman from...

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The Korean securities industry has been reorganized into the structure of “five big and two mid-size players.

5 Big and 2 Mid-sized System

17 November 2017 - 11:15am
Yoon Yung Sil

As the era of mega-sized investment banks (IBs) has opened, the securities industry sees a rapid shift power in the market. With five large brokerage firms were given a green light by the local financial authorities to operate as mega IBs, two more mid-size companies – Shinhan Investment and Meritz Securities – have become comprehensive financial investment business operators. Accordingly, the securities industry has been reorganized into the structure of “five big and two mid-size players.” 

The Securities and Futures Commission under the Financial Services Commission (FSC)...

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Samsung Galaxy Tab A equipped with Bixby was released on November 16.

Equipped with ‘Home Mode’

17 November 2017 - 10:45am
Cho Jin-young

Samsung Electronics released the Galaxy Tab A in South Korea on November 16.

The Galaxy Tab A comes with an eight-inch display, improved cameras, and a home mode. It has a thickness of only 8.9 mm and its WiFi and LTE versions weigh 360 g and 364 g, respectively.

The eight-megapixel rear camera has an aperture of F 1.9 and the front camera has five megapixels. A floating camera button is provided so that the shutter can be pressed on any part of the screen. The directions and effects of the cameras can be switched when the screen is slid in any of four directions.

In...

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Hyundai and Kia sold a total of 81,799 units in the European market in October, which is an 8.7-percent increase from the same period of last year.

Rolling Well in Europe

17 November 2017 - 10:45am
Jung Min-hee

Hyundai and Kia continued enjoying strong sales in Europe in October.

Hyundai and Kia sold a total of 81,799 units in the European market in October, according to the Hyundai Automotive Group on November 16. The figure is an 8.7-percent increase from the same period of last year. Hyundai sold 42,821 units, up 7.7 percent from a year earlier while Kia 38.878 units, up 9.8 percent over the same period. However, their sales volume slid 18.3% compared to September. This drop is blamed on a decline in industrial demand in the European market. According to the European...

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The large-scale reshuffle of Samsung Electronics implies a change of generation.

‘Young Samsung’

17 November 2017 - 10:30am
Cho Jin-young

Samsung Electronics promoted 221 executives on November 16. The number is the largest since 2014, when 227 were promoted. The large-scale reshuffle implies a change of generation. Earlier, Samsung Electronics replaced many of its older presidents with those in their 50s.

The 221 executives including seven females are divided into 27 vice presidents, 60 senior managing directors, 118 managing directors, one fellow, and 15 masters. No less than 99 got a promotion in the Device Solutions (DS) Division alone. The division recently posted an all-time high profit.

This year,...

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A total of 18 nuclear power plants are in operation and five are under construction in the southeastern region of the Korean peninsula.

Continuing Conflict

17 November 2017 - 9:45am
Choi Mun-hee

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) held a board meeting on November 16 and decided to stop the construction of the third and fourth units of the Shin Hanul Nuclear Power Plant and the first and second units of the Cheonji Nuclear Power Plant. Controversies are likely to continue with hundreds of billions of won already invested in the construction projects and the government having yet to prepare a plan for compensation. 

Those in favor of the construction of the nuclear power plants are claiming that nuclear power plants are safe tools for power generation as seen in the case...

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Even though the value of the won against the dollar surges, the Korean government only controls the pace with vocal intervention unlike the past when it aggressively intervened in the foreign exchange market.

Despite Weak Dollar

17 November 2017 - 9:45am
Yoon Yung Sil

The Korean won is getting stronger against the dollar. The won-dollar exchange rate fell below 1,100 won during the day for the first time since September 30 last year. 

The won's appreciation is a problem. However, something to notice here is the pace of decline. The won-dollar exchange rate reached 1,145.40 at the end of September but the rise in the won's value after October pushed down the exchange rate below 1,100 won on November 16. Moreover, only the Korean won continues to gain ground against the dollar. According to the Bank of Korea (BOK), the won-dollar exchange rate...

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Lee Ju-yeol (left), governor of the Bank of Korea, and Stephen Poloz, governor of the Bank of Canada, signed the bilateral currency swap agreement on November 15 (local time) at the headquarters of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa of Canada.

Currency Safe Valve Secured

17 November 2017 - 12:00am
Jung Suk-yee

South Korea concluded a standing currency swap contract in which the limit and maturity were not set in advance with Canada, one of the world’s six key currency countries. The deal is a standing agreement via which Korea can borrow Canadian dollars without limit with the Korean won, if a liquidity crisis occurs in Korea due to financial market instability. Experts say that the agreement enabled Korea to prepare for volatility in the financial market sparked off by the US Fed’s monetary tightening policies such as additional interest hikes and the reduction of assets.

Lee Ju-yeol,...

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