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  Korea Report - May 2019
  Author : Hwang & Co     Date : 19-06-05 08:32     Hit : 6507    
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President Moon marked two years in office on 2nd, and his presidency faces daunting challenges on many fronts, from NK to economy to political and social polarization. SKoreans are giving Moon relatively poor grades for his performance. Moon, who started his five-year term with an approval rating of 84%, maintained almost the same level of popularity, 83%, when he celebrated his administrations first anniversary last May. Since then it has nose-dived to 45%, according to the latest Gallup poll, released last week of April. Moon received his lowest score for economic management, with only 23%. Appointments of senior officials came next with 26%, followed by employment with 29% and NK policy with 45%.

BTS took home two awards and rocked the stage to a cheering crowd at this years Billboard Music Awards, which took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on 1st. The achievement was the latest in a series of record-breaking feats the septet has pulled off, including having three US No 1 albums in a year, matched by only two other artists, The Beatles and The Monkees in the 1960s. Bong Joon-hos social satire Parasite made history on 25th by becoming first Korean film to win Palme dOr, top award at Cannes Film Festival. Bong called the award a very great gift from the Cannes festival, noting that this is the 100th anniversary of Korean cinema. Parasite is described to be a black comedy about unexpected series of events when a poor family of hustlers encounter a wealthy one.

President Trump on 26th downplayed potential danger of NKs missile launches, just a day after national security adviser John Bolton called the tests a clear breach of UN resolutions. NK fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me, Trump tweeted. SKoreas presidential office and its Defense Ministry have been cautious about identifying the May 9 projectiles ballistic missiles, as this could lead to calls for additional sanctions against NK.

SKorea has projected its economy to expand between 2.6% and 2.7% this year, but Bank of Korea trimmed its economic outlook for the year to 2.5% from 2.6%. IMF said SKorea's growth is projected to slide to around 2.6% in 2019, citing an expected deterioration in external demand.

LG Electronics first 5G powered smartphone, V50 ThinQ, has been sold up to 100,000 handsets in 10 days here since it hit the market on 10th. This is four times more than sales of its predecessor V40 ThinQ. While upgrades and features of LGs latest 5G smartphone, such as dual screen functionality, may have come into play, industry watchers attributed the soaring sales to overheated competition among mobile carriers to boost the number of 5G subscribers.

With the US government ramping up pressure on its allies to reject Huawei Technologies equipment for its 5G cellular networks, SKorea is struggling to come up with a response amid escalating conflicts between the worlds two superpowers. LG Uplus, by an unnamed State Department official, has been demanded a halt to mobile carriers operations in sensitive areas. Huawei purchased KW12 tril ($10.1 bil) worth of smartphone components from Korean suppliers. Chinas share in Samsungs 2018 revenue was about 18%, up 2% on-year. Samsung sold KW43.2 trill worth of products in China last year. SK hynixs sales in China accounted for KW3.1 tril, 47% of total global sales in first quarter.

Koreas Composite Stock Price Index rose 0.42% to 2,212 on 2nd due to improved factory activity in April amid market holidays in Japan and China, then continued to free fall hitting new low throughout the month. KOSPI was rattled to close at 2,159.79 on 9th, 3.04% lower than previous session, after US President Donald Trump claimed that Beijing broke the deal in the ongoing trade talks with Washington. The figure marks Kospis worst performance to date during the first two years of presidency of the nations leaders so far, since the launch of the main bourse in 1983. KOSPI continue to fall to 2,055 on 17th, 2,045 on 24th and 2,023 on 29th, then slightly rebounded to 2,041 to end the month. For the month of May, KOSPI fell 7.34%.

On 31st, HHI extraordinary meeting of shareholders approved the appointment of new inside directors and the physical division plan of the corporation. The meeting presented 51,074,006 shares, which is 72.2% of the total shares, passed the physical division by the approval of 99.9% and also passed the appointment of inside directors by 94.4% approval. Now, with the approval of the meeting, the corporate wields two bodies: Korea Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, a new holding company focusing on investment and R&D, HHI, a physical arm of the group.


Relations between SKorea and Japan deteriorated to their worst point to date [p.2]

WHOs adopted video game addiction as an official disease on 24th [p.3]

The number of SKoreans applying for unemployment benefit have rapidly increased [p.4]

SKoreas population reached 51.83 mil as of April 2019 [p.5]

BTS took home two awards at this years Billboard Music Awards [p.5]

Bong Joon-hos Parasite won Palme dOr, top award at Cannes Film Festival [p.6]

NK fired multiple projectiles into the East Sea on 4th and two more on 9th [p.7]

SKorea has projected its economy to expand between 2.6%-2.7% this year [p.10]

Hana Financial Group won international arbitration against Lone Star Funds [p.11]

List of SKoreas top 500 companies ranked by revenue saw major shifts last year [p.12]

Celltrion Healthcare had the highest average salary among listed firms in SKorea in 2018 [p.12]

LGEs first 5G powered smartphone, V50 ThinQ, has been sold 100,000 handsets in 10 days [p.13]

Shin Dong-bin became first SKorean conglomerate leader to meet President Trump [p.14]

US pressure to reject Huawei for its 5G cellular networks, SKorea struggles to response [p.14]

KOSPI has plunged while KWon softened against USDollar [p.16]

HHIs shareholders approved the physical division plan of the corporation on 31st [p.17]

Due diligence on DSME to be completed in 10 weeks, site inspection to take place soon [p.18]

DSME has gone into the black for five quarters in a row [p.20]

STX O&S has scored its first newbuilding order in 2019 with PCL [p.21]

Daesun posted operating profit of KW1.8 bil ($151 mil) in the 1Q 2019 [p.21]


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