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Monday, November 20, 2017

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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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The conclusion of TPP may become a bad factor to Korean companies that compete fiercely with Japanese companies in Latin America and Southeast Asia, including Mexico and Vietnam.

TPP Agreement Concluded

16 November 2017 - 10:15am
Michael Herh

Korean automakers are paying a lot of attention to the conclusion of the Japan-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) devoid of the United States. 

Although there will be no big immediate impact from the trade agreement as the US, the largest market in the world, did not join the partnership, the deal may become another bad factor to Korean companies that compete fiercely with Japanese companies in Latin America and Southeast Asia, including Mexico and Vietnam.

According to the automobile industry on November 15, it was forecast that Japan, the biggest competitor of the Korean...

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Market watchers say Samsung Electronics is changing its strategy that focuses mainly on profitability to that expands a memory market share through the so-called “chicken game.”

Concerns on Oversupply

16 November 2017 - 10:00am
Cho Jin-young

Samsung Electronics’ investments in semiconductor facilities this year are larger than that of the world’s largest system semiconductor producer and the world’s biggest foundry chipmaker TSMC combined. As Samsung Electronics has made the largest facility investment ever in its history, there is growing concern over an oversupply of memory chips. Market watchers say Samsung is changing its strategy that focuses mainly on profitability to that expands a memory market share through the so-called “chicken game.” 

According to market research firm IC Insights on November 15, Samsung...

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Singaporean shipbuilders are submitting bidding prices for offshore plants much lower than those of Korean shipyards.

Unbelievable Bidding Prices

15 November 2017 - 9:30am
Jung Min-hee

A red flag was raised for Korean shipyards such as Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries which had dominated the offshore plant market. This is because they are losing orders to Singaporean shipyards which have not been even recognized as their competitor so far. 

In particular, bidding prices submitted by Singaporean shipbuilders are much lower than those of Korean shipyards. Of course, it is still unclear whether or not the bidding prices suggested by Singaporean shipbuilders can give rise to profits. There is...

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Bio pharmaceutical affiliates of domestic large businesses are drawing a bigger picture while taking different detailed strategies, such as spin-off, merger and listing.

Regrouping of Bio Businesses

14 November 2017 - 10:30am
Choi Mun-hee

As food-and-entertainment conglomerate CJ Group has decided to sell off its pharmaceutical affiliate CJ Healthcare, bio pharmaceutical affiliates of domestic large businesses are drawing a bigger picture. They have different detailed strategies, such as spin-off, merger and listing, but they have a common goal of strengthening the competitiveness of research and development (R&D) to develop novel drugs and push into the global market. 

According to industry sources on November 13, SK Group will turn SK Chemicals’ corporate structure into a holding company system on December 1...

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Naver argued Google made huge profits in Korea without paying any tax or creating jobs while Google Korea released a statement refuting the accusation.

Debate over Discrimination

3 November 2017 - 12:00pm
Cho Jin-young

Google Korea CEO John Lee, who has been summoned to the National Assembly’s audit this year held at the Science, ICT, Broadcasting, and Communications Committee’s conference room in the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul, on October 30, is questioned by lawmakers

Naver and Google, which have been rivals in the domestic search engine service market, had a heated discussion. Naver founder Lee Hae-jin, who now serves as the firm’s global investment officer (GIO), recently said during a parliamentary audit, “Google made huge profits in Korea without paying any tax or creating jobs.” In...

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The value of South Korea’s inbound M&A deals by foreign investors stood at US$7.8 billion (8.77 trillion won) for the nine months this year, up 130.1 percent from a year ago

Despite External Factors

31 October 2017 - 12:15pm
Jung Min-hee

Foreign investors are actively seeking to merge and acquire South Korean companies despite concerns over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) issue and the threat of nuclear missile attack by North Korea. South Korean firms are still attractive investments to foreign investors and the fact is not much adversely affected by the THAAD or North Korea risks.

According to a report regarding to mergers and acquisition (M&A) deals between the first quarter and the third quarter of 2017 released by M&A market researcher Merger Market on October 30, the number and value of...

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If Wolsong Reactor No. 1 is prematurely closed, the most urgent problem is the disposal of its spent nuclear fuel.

Urgent Need

27 October 2017 - 11:45am
Jung Min-hee

The disposal of spent nuclear fuels (high-level radioactive waste) has been emerging as a "hot issue" after the government announced a policy to resume the construction of Shin-Kori Units 5 and 6. As early as two years later, a temporary storage facility will be filled with spent fuels, but it is still unclear when the government will be able to secure an intermediate storage facility and a permanent repository. The issue of disposal of spent nuclear fuel at Wolseong Reactor 1 which the government decided to shut down immediately has become a matter that the government has to do something...

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A total of 64 trillion won (US$57.6 billion) is required for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel.

Nuclear Fuel Management

26 October 2017 - 12:00pm
Jung Min-hee

The Minjoo Party lawmaker Hong Eui-rak said on October 25 that 26.35 trillion won (US$23.7 billion) is required until 2035 for the storage of spent nuclear fuel and 37.77 trillion won (US$33.9 billion) is required for permanent disposal until 2053.

According to the Radioactive Waste Management Act, the cost related to the management of spent nuclear fuel are to be calculated every two years and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) is to bear 100% of the costs.

At present, a total of 754,044 fuel bundles are required to be disposed of, which is divided into 89,407 LWR fuel...

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