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  Korea Report - October 2021
  Author : Hwang & Co     Date : 21-11-07 19:43     Hit : 6184    
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SKorea on 23rd achieved its goal of fully inoculating over 70% of the countrys 51.3 mil population, earlier than scheduled amid its accelerating vaccination drive. Total of 35.94 mil people have received their both shots of COVID-19 vaccines as of 2 pm. The scheme, dubbed Living with COVID-19, is set to take effect in early Nov. It means that COVID-19 will be treated as an infectious respiratory disease, like seasonal influenza, with eased social distancing being implemented. Authorities expect vaccinations will further pick up to get 85% of all SKoreans and foreigners living in SKorea fully inoculated by early next year, which is expected to create the so-called herd immunity.


Communication between South Korea and the North was restored on 4th about two months after Pyongyang unilaterally cut off contact in Aug, due to Pyongyang's protest of joint military drill by SKorea and the US. Their reactivation came days after NKorean leader Kim Jong-un expressed an intention to improve chilled inter-Korean relations. Liaison officials from both Koreas held two phone calls via cross-border channel, Unification Ministry said. Two sides agreed to hold regular phone calls twice a day as they had in the past.  Defense Ministry also said both direct military communication lines, western and eastern hotlines, had been reactivated.


Fitch Ratings said on 20th that it would maintain SKoreas stable credit rating at AA- and keep its economic growth projection positive, citing the countrys economic resilience. It has remained at that level since 2012. International Monetary Fund maintained its forecast for SKoreas economic growth for this year at 4.3%, while revising down its projection for the global economy to 5.9%, Ministry of Economy and Finance said on 12th. Hana Institute of Finance predicted on 7th that SKoreas economy to expand 2.8% in 2022, down from this year's growth estimate of 3.9%, expecting to post solid growth on strong domestic demand stemming from looser social distancing measures. Bank of Korea forecast Korean economy will grow 4% this year. The government expected economic growth of 4.2% for 2021. 


Samsung Electronics was ranked fifth among worlds top 100 corporate brands for second year in a row, according to Interbrand on 21st, with brand value estimated at $74.6 bil this year, increasing 20% on-year. SEC first entered top 10 of Interbrands list in 2012, ranking ninth. It reached sixth place in 2017 and fifth last year. Taking top four spots were Apple, which topped the list, followed by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Hyundai Motors brand value was 35th highest with $15.2 bil, and sixth among worlds automakers. Kia Motors ranked 86th with brand value of $6.1 bil.


Korea Gas plans to push ahead with four new businesses using liquefied natural gas. The worldwide demand for LNG bunkering, or providing LNG to a ship for its own consumption, is expected to reach between 20 mil and 30 mil tons by 2030. LNG bunkering is mostly done from ship to ship, and it requires LNG storage facilities and loading equipment. Kogas already has worlds largest LNG storage facility and four LNG loading equipment in Tongyeong. By securing more LNG bunkering vessels and loading equipment, Kogas seeks to make SKorea a Northeast Asian hub for LNG bunkering. By 2030, Kogas also plans to build 30 charging stations that use natural gas to produce hydrogen on site, and can charge hydrogen buses and trucks that need more hydrogen than passenger cars. In addition to securing LNG, Kogas plans to generate power from it and supply the power at competitive prices. In early Oct, a consortium of Kogas, Korea Southern Power Co and Hanwha Energy won an order to build a 6,000-megatwatt LNG power plant in Quang Tri, Vietnam. Kogas is also taking steps to utilize cold energy generated when LNG vaporizes between minus 162 degrees Celsius and zero for cold chains to keep food and vaccines at low temperatures.


The new order intakes of Korean 'Big3' was maintained at strong level for first three quarters of 2021. Three affiliates of HHI Group HHI, HSHI and HMD won new orders worth $18.107 bil, representing 333.6% on-year increase. SHI was awarded 64 newbuilds worth $8.6 bil, achieving 78% of its yearly order target of $9.1 bil. DSME won 46 newbuilds worth $8.04 bil, exceeding its 2021 order target $7.7 bil by 4.4%.




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