Deputy Bureau Chief for Korea, Seoul, South Korea
Choonsik's Feed
Mar 19, 2015

South Korea’s housing market booms – except for prices

SEOUL, March 20 (Reuters) – Ryoo Joong-il joined a million
others in South Korea who bought homes over the past year as
record-low interest rates and market-boosting measures helped
pull the housing market out of a years-long slump.

“I didn’t have a plan for a long time but recently made a
decision as I now think prices will increase further with all
the policy measures,” said Ryoo, 44, as he left a sales office
after signing a contract on an apartment in eastern Seoul.

Mar 19, 2015

S.Korea’s Harim group to expand bulk carrier Pan Ocean by trading grains -chairman

SEONGNAM, South Korea, March 19 (Reuters) – South Korea’s
Harim Group aims to grow sales at the country’s largest bulk
shipper Pan Ocean Co Ltd, which it plans to acquire,
seven times to more than 10 trillion won ($8.97 billion)
annually within five to six years.

The livestock and animal feed group plans to add a grains
trading business to shipper Pan Ocean with the aim of building
it into it a major dealer in the sector, Harim chairman, Kim
Hong-kuk, told Reuters on Thursday.

Mar 12, 2015

South Korea joins global easing with surprise rate cut as growth falters

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s central bank cut interest rates for the first time in five months on Thursday in a surprise move, joining the ranks of other economies which have recently taken advantage of lower inflation to ease monetary policy to spur sluggish growth.

The Bank of Korea’s monetary policy committee, grappling with a weaker-than-expected economic recovery, lowered its base rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 1.75 percent, confounding expectations that it would wait at least another month to see if domestic and export demand improved.

Mar 12, 2015

Bank of Korea joins global policy easing with surprise rate cut

SEOUL, March 12 (Reuters) – South Korea’s central bank cut
interest rates for the first time in five months on Thursday in
a surprise move, joining the ranks of other economies which have
recently taken advantage of lower inflation to ease monetary
policy to spur sluggish growth.

The Bank of Korea’s monetary policy committee cut its base
rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 1.75
percent, a media official said without elaborating.

Mar 5, 2015

South Korea’s wages depressed as baby boomers delay retirement

ANSAN, South Korea (Reuters) – South Korea’s Puretech Co, a small supplier of mobile phone components, has a workforce increasingly made up of aging baby boomers.

The company in Ansan, an industrial city near Seoul, finds older workers useful in marketing, advisory roles, and in quality control. The work scene is a reflection of the demographics of South Korea, which like Japan, is rapidly aging.

Feb 26, 2015

S.Korea household mortgage loan growth hits record in Q4

SEOUL, Feb 26 (Reuters) – South Koreans boosted mortgage
borrowings by the fastest pace on record in the December quarter
as property prices recovered, data showed on Thursday, weakening
the case for an additional interest rate cut.

Mortgage loans at households rose 10.2 percent on-year to
460.6 trillion won ($419.5 billion) by the end of December, the
highest growth since records began in late 2008, central bank
data showed. It also gained a record 3.2 percent
quarter-on-quarter.

Feb 25, 2015

Samsung Electronics, China trade deal give boost to South Korea’s yuan hub ambitions

SEOUL (Reuters) – Tech giant Samsung Electronics gave a big boost on Wednesday to Seoul’s ambitions to become a global hub for the offshore yuan business, saying it was preparing to start trading the Chinese currency directly with the South Korean won.

The news came as the South Korean government announced that it hoped to sign a final free trade agreement with China within the first half of the year, in a further sign of strengthening relations between the countries.

Feb 25, 2015

Samsung Elec, China trade deal give boost to South Korea’s yuan hub ambitions

SEOUL, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Tech giant Samsung Electronics
gave a big boost on Wednesday to Seoul’s ambitions
to become a global hub for the offshore yuan business, saying it
was preparing to start trading the Chinese currency directly
with the South Korean won.

The news came as the South Korean government announced that
it hoped to sign a final free trade agreement with China within
the first half of the year, in a further sign of strengthening
relations between the countries.

Feb 17, 2015

Bank of Korea holds rates, cautious tone lifts bonds

SEOUL, Feb 17 (Reuters) – South Korea’s central bank held
interest rates steady on Tuesday, as expected, but cautious
remarks by its governor about the economic outlook kept hopes
alive for a rate cut soon, lifting bond futures.

The Bank of Korea’s policy board left the policy interest
rate unchanged at a record-matching low of 2.0
percent in a unanimous vote for a fourth consecutive month.

Feb 17, 2015

S.Korea c.bank holds rates for 4th month, as expected

SEOUL, Feb 17 (Reuters) – South Korea’s central bank kept
interest rates unchanged for a fourth straight month on Tuesday,
as expected, while observing the effects of global policy
changes on its gradually recovering economy.

The Bank of Korea’s monetary policy committee held its base
rate steady at 2.00 percent, a media official said
without elaborating. Governor Lee Ju-yeol is due to hold a news
conference from 11:20 a.m. (0220 GMT).