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Monday, October 23, 2017

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New fund products that invest in foreign environmental, social and governance (ESG) companies will be launched for the first time in Korea.

Social-friendly Fund

13 October 2017 - 5:00pm
Yoon Yung Sil

As more and more people are interested in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment with the inauguration of the Moon Jae-in government and introduction of the stewardship code by the National Pension Service (NPS), new fund products that invest in foreign ESG companies will be launched for the first time.

According to investment banking industry sources on October 12, Mirae Asset Global Investments plans to release a “Global Good Innovator” fund at the end of this month. This is the product that invests in ESG companies which are included in the Morgan Stanley Capital...

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Samsung Electronics was selected as “the most reliable company in the world” in a survey by Germany-based economic weekly WirtschaftsWoche and market researcher Service Value.

Gaining Consumer Confidence

13 October 2017 - 5:00pm
Cho Jin-young

German consumers voted Samsung Electronics “the most reliable company in the world.” The result is deemed to be attributable to Samsung quickly solving the issue of the Galaxy Note 7 catching fire to deepen consumers’ trust in the company, which is now considered to be a blessing in disguise.

Samsung Electronics ranked first in a ‘Trust Ranking’ survey conducted by Germany-based economic weekly WirtschaftsWoche and market researcher Service Value, according to industry insiders on October 12.

Samsung Electronics overtook Germany’s largest supermarket chain EDEKA in the...

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The growth rate of South Korea’s household, government and corporate (excluding financial sector) debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio surpassed 230 percent over the past decade.

Debt-to-GDP Ratio

13 October 2017 - 4:45pm
Yoon Yung Sil

South Korea’s household, government and corporate (excluding financial sector) debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio dramatically grew over the past decade to surpass 230 percent.

According to a “global financial stability report” released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on October 11 (local time), South Korea’s non-financial sector’s debt as a percentage of GDP surged from 183 percent in 2006 to 232 percent in 2016.

As the G20 countries carried out quantitative easing (QE) policy and measures to stimulate economy as part of their efforts to overcome the global...

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Nuclear power plants I and II in Barakah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) under construction by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

Heated Debate Arisen

13 October 2017 - 4:30pm
Jung Min-hee

At the parliamentary inspection of the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy on October 12, participants had a debate over whether the consent of the United States is required for South Korea to export nuclear power plants.

The ministry recently said that its consent is required, according to the Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of the United States of America concerning Civil Use of Atomic Energy, for the construction of two nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia. Opposition lawmakers, meanwhile, claimed the opposite,...

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The interest rate of treasury bonds has increased and foreign investors have continued to sell bonds.

Selling Spree of Bonds

13 October 2017 - 1:00pm
Yoon Yung Sil

The local bond market has been shrunk dramatically due to geopolitical crisis on the Korean peninsula which has continued from last month. The interest rate of treasury bonds has increased and foreign investors have continued to sell bonds.

According to a report titled “Bond Market Trend in September” from the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA) on October 12, the interest rate of a three-year treasury bond stood at 1.888 percent a year as of the end of last month, up 14.1 basis points (bps) a month earlier. A basis point is one hundredth of a percent. The interest rate...

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Michael Shellenberger, one of notable environmentalists who were formerly anti-nuclear activists, holds a press conference at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry building in Seoul on October 12

Notable Environmentalist’s Concerns

13 October 2017 - 12:45pm
Jung Min-hee

Michael Shellenberger, a prominent environmentalist who has stressed the safety, economical efficiency and excellence of South Korea’s nuclear energy technology, said on October 12, “Kenya and Britain that have sought to import South Korea’s nuclear energy technology have decided to reconsider the import after the South Korean government has vowed to phase out the country’s dependence on nuclear power.”

During a press conference held at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry building in Jung-gu, Seoul, on the same day, Shellenberger, president of the US NGO Environmental...

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South Korea’s foreign exchange reserves totaled US$384.67 billion as of the end of last month, showing a month-on-month decrease of US$170 million.

Foreign Exchange Reserves

13 October 2017 - 12:45pm
Jung Suk-yee

According to the Bank of Korea, South Korea’s foreign exchange reserves totaled US$384.67 billion as of the end of last month, showing a month-on-month decrease of US$170 million. Its forex reserves decreased for the first time in seven months.

“Although foreign exchange rate factors caused the foreign exchange reserves to slightly fall last month, the amount of the reserves is still the second-largest in history,” the central bank explained. The amount increased for six months in a row until August and increased by US$13.57 billion this year.

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The US-based Daily Beast reported that President Donald Trump’s opposition to the KORUS FTA seems to be the outcome of a spur-of-the-moment decision

Impulsive Decision?

13 October 2017 - 12:30pm
Jung Suk-yee

It has been reported that U.S. President Donald Trump is trying to sacrifice the KORUS FTA in place of the NAFTA with the latter being likely to remain valid.

The Daily Beast reported on October 10 that U.S. National Trade Council (NTC) Director Peter Navarro recommended President Donald Trump to aim at the KORUS FTA instead of the NAFTA in order to fulfill his wish by withdrawing from at least one free trade agreement. According to the online news outlet, the U.S. President accepted the advice with little consideration after his efforts to end the NAFTA failed.

The U.S....

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South Korea’s investment in the US has exceeded that of the US by no less than US$51.4 billion since the FTA ratification in 2011.

3X More Investment

13 October 2017 - 12:30pm
Jung Suk-yee

It has been found that the amount of capital invested in the United States by South Korea since the ratification of the KORUS FTA in 2011 totals US$76.4 billion whereas that invested in South Korea by the United States stands at US$24.9 billion.

The former includes US$15.35 billion from the mining industry of South Korea, which is followed by US$15 billion from finance and insurance, US$14.13 billion from real estate and rental, US$10.68 billion from wholesale and retail and US$6.16 billion from manufacturing.

The...

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A ruling Minjoo Party lawmaker claimed South Korea and the United States are conducting a joint research on pyroprocessing in Idaho State, USA, where the spent nuclear fuels is not allowed.

Debate on Nuclear Joint Project

13 October 2017 - 12:15pm
Jung Suk-yee

The ruling Minjoo Party lawmaker Yoo Seung-hee, who is a member of the Science, ICT, Broadcasting, & Communications Committee of the National Assembly, claimed on October 12 that South Korea wasted 36.9 billion won (US$33.2 million) in the U.S. state of Idaho since 2011 with spent nuclear fuels not allowed in the state where South Korea and the United States are conducting a joint research on pyroprocessing.

The purpose of the joint research project dubbed Joint Fuel Cycle Studies (JFCS) is to reduce the volume of spent nuclear fuels to one-20th. Each of South Korea and the...

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