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‘Working Koreans spend annual W1.4m on cash gifts’


South Koreans holding office jobs spend over 1.4 million won ($1,235) annually on cash gifts for special occasions, a poll showed Monday. The research, conducted by job research portal Saramin, involved 435 local office workers. Cash gifts cost about 73,000 won on average per event, the survey revealed, and respondents attended an average of 1.6 events per month, so their ... Read More »

SK Innovation in talks to set up EV battery JVs with Volkswagen, China partners


SEOUL: SK Innovation Co Ltd is in talks to set up separate battery-making joint ventures with Volkswagen AG and Chinese partners, as the South Korean petrochemicals producer aggressively expands its involvement in electric vehicles (EVs). The company confirmed talks with Germany’s Volkswagen for the first time, telling Reuters the pair were discussing building a factory together. It also said it ... Read More »

Korean Banks Expanding Global IB Business


Korean banks are expanding their global investment banking (IB) business one after another to diversify their revenue streams with their profits forecast to decline due to government regulations on lending and an economic downturn. For example, KB Kookmin Bank opened its IB unit in London last month. The purpose of the unit is to expand the bank’s IB business and ... Read More »

Korea exports suffer biggest slide in nearly 3 yrs as China sales sag


South Korea’s exports contracted at their steepest pace in nearly three years in February as demand from its major market China cooled further in yet another sign of faltering momentum in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. Overseas sales dropped 11.1 per cent in annual terms, the sharpest decline since April 2016 and marked the third month of falling shipments. A Reuters survey ... Read More »

Tesla supplier agrees to buy GM’s Korean plant for EV manufacturing


A South Korean supplier of Tesla Inc said it had agreed to buy a shuttered auto factory from General Motors’ local unit to start contract manufacturing of electric vehicles. The deal comes after GM closed one of its four South Korean plants in late May and let go thousands of workers, as part of a global restructuring drive which culminated ... Read More »

SK Innovation to Build LiBS Plant in Poland by Investing 430 Billion Won


SK Innovation will invest 430 billion won (US$378 million) in Poland to build a Li-ion battery separator (LiBS) plant. SK Innovation announced on March 27 that it will expand investment to accelerate the growth of its materials business, which is to be spun off on April 1. The plant will be built on a site of 340 million square meters ... Read More »

Korea Companies to invest 12m USD in Israeli innovation


South Korean Yozma Group Asia and group BioLeaders Corporation announced they will invest roughly 12 million USD in Israeli anti-cancer technology based on technology developed at the Weizmann institute of Science, the Institute reported. Yozma Group Asia will invest 2 million USD in On-Sight Medical Inc., which is currently developing an easy-to-use ultrasound technology that patients may use on their ... Read More »

Korean semiconductor stocks surge on the back of Micron earnings


Semiconductor stocks in South Korea soared on Thursday following the earnings release of U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology overnight, which bested expectations. Industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics and chipmaker SK Hynix saw their stock surge 4.09 percent and 7.66 percent, respectively. Beating on the top and bottom line, Micron reported earnings per share of $1.71 on revenue of $5.84 billion. Wall Street ... Read More »

Judge Juche: How Russian courts penalize Korean cash smuggling


This article is the first of a series produced by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies exclusively for NK News. For this series, we’ve chosen to focus on the legal (mis)adventures of North Korean entities and individuals overseas. Even as diplomacy between the United States and the DPRK continues, North Korea ... Read More »

More Korean Companies Expected to Participate in Oil and Gas Projects in Malaysia


The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on that South Korea and Malaysia signed three MOUs during South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s state visit to Malaysia. The three MOUs include one between Korea Trade Insurance Corp. and PETRONAS. The MOU is for South Korean companies to take a greater part in the latter’s oil and gas projects in Malaysia. ... Read More »

Japan-Korea business talks postponed amid diplomatic spat


SEOUL: A meeting of Japanese and South Korean business leaders will be postponed due to deteriorating relations between the Tokyo and Seoul. The Japan-Korea Economic Association, a business group that hosts an annual meeting of public and private economic officials, announced the delay on its website on Mar. 8. The conference was slated to take place in May, but it ... Read More »

South Korean stocks, won slide on Nouth Korea tensions

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* KOSPI index extends fall, foreigners sell * Korean won hits near 3-week low vs USD * South Korea bond yields down * For the midday report, please click SEOUL, March 6 (Reuters) – Round-up of South Korean financial markets: ** South Korean shares slipped on Wednesday as renewed tensions between North Korea and the United States dampened market sentiment, ... Read More »

Korea’s Exports Fall for Third Consecutive Month


South Korea’s exports totaled US$39.56 billion last month, down 11.1 percent from a year ago, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on March 1. For reference, exports fell 1.3 percent and 5.8 percent year on year in December 2018 and January 2019, respectively. This is the first time since July 2016 that South Korea’s exports fell for three ... Read More »

Korea’s MBI to Establish EV Plant in Vietnam

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MBI, a Korean manufacturer specializing in making transmissions, will build an electric car plant in Hanoi, Vietnam, jointly with local firm N&G Group. The two companies will invest a total of US$1 billion for the next seven years. The companies said on September 21 that the heads of the two companies signed an agreement to establish a joint venture called ... Read More »

Gov’t to expand Gwangju-Hyundai job model


The central government will use and expand a model by Gwangju City and Hyundai Motor aimed at boosting job creation across the country’s provincial areas, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The ministry said the government will encourage regional offices to adopt and develop the model with companies of any size to open plants, create jobs and spur ... Read More »

Korea’s income gap hits record high in Q4


South Korea’s household income inequality hit a record high in the fourth quarter of 2018, government data showed Thursday, prompting officials to step up efforts to carry out a series of measures to support low-income people. An average household earned 4.6 million won ($4,000) per month in the October-December period, up 3.6 percent from the previous year, according to the ... Read More »

Coal imports set another record in 2018


Korea’s coal imports hit a new high last year despite government efforts to phase out the use of fine dust-emitting energy sources, industry data showed Tuesday. The country shipped in 131.52 million tons of coal last year, breaking the record for the second consecutive year. Coal imports in 2017 totaled 131.46 million tons. The figure for 2018 marks an 11 ... Read More »

South Korea Resumes Iran Oil Import

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South Korea resumed imports of Iranian oil in January after a four-month hiatus, customs data showed on Friday, but shipments were down 76% from the same month last year. The world’s fifth-largest crude importer won a six-month waiver in November from US sanctions on Tehran’s oil exports, but did not immediately start imports, mainly due to payment and insurance issues, ... Read More »

Korea, US ink provisional defense cost-sharing pact

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South Korea and the United States signed a provisional agreement Sunday on the sharing of costs to maintain US troops here, with South Korea raising its share by 8.2 percent. Seoul’s negotiator, Chang Won-sam, and his US counterpart, Timothy Betts, met in Seoul to ink the contract. Under the new deal, South Korea will pay about 1.03 trillion won ($890 ... Read More »

Korean exports expected to fall in 2019: observers


South Korean exports are forecast to decline in 2019, as outbound shipments contracted for two months in a row, economic organizations and observers said Wednesday. The poor export showings in December and January marked the first time in 27 months that shipments have fallen in consecutive months on an annual basis and are an indication of tougher times ahead for ... Read More »