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KOREA REPORT - APRIL, 2022.
lifted all COVID-19 social distancing rules, except mask mandate, starting 18th, PM Kim Boo-kyum said. It is first time in two years for the
government to lift all social distancing rules. Eating inside multipurpose
facilities, such as movie theaters, gyms and religious facilities, was allowed
from 25th. SKorea will lift the outdoor
mask mandate from May 2nd, PM Kim said, though people will still need to
wear a mask when they attend gatherings of 50 or more people or use multiuse
SKorea plans to build country's first
floating airport in Busan by 2035, land ministry said on 26th. Last year,
National Assembly approved a bill worth KW13.7 tril ($10.97 bil) to build new
airport on Gadeok Island, the biggest island of Busan, to handle growing air
traffic demand and facilitate prosperity in the country's southeast region.
SKorea's consumer sentiment improved to
103.8 in April, up 0.6 point on-month, as the country lifted most social
distancing rules as part of efforts to return to normal from the pandemic, Bank
of Korea said on 27th. Daily coronavirus infections
peaked at over 600,000 in mid-Mar but have been retreating fast ever since.
reported trade deficit of $2.66 bil in April,
amid soaring global energy prices. Exports rose 12.6% on-year to $57.69 bil on
the back of brisk demand for chips and petroleum products. Accumulated exports
for Jan-April came to $230.6 bil, first time the figure surpassed $200 bil
mark. Imports grew 18.6% on-year to $60.35 bil.
became nation¡¯s second-largest conglomerate for the first time in 12 years, Fair Trade Commission said on 27th. SK accumulated KW291 tril
($230 bil) in total assets, largely due to increased assets and sales in SK
hynix. It outpaced Hyundai Motor, which had KW257.84 tril in total assets.
Samsung remained at the top, while LG and Lotte placed fourth and fifth,
takeover battle for SsangYong Motor has kicked off between three rival bidders:
two medium-sized enterprises and a private equity firm, in a KW1.5 tril ($1.2
bil) deal. KG Group, Ssangbangwool and Pavilion PE each submitted letter of
intent to lead manager of the deal, EY Hanyoung, industry sources said on 19th.
SKorea's foreign reserves stood at $449.3
bil as of end April, down $8.51 bil on-month, shrinking for second straight
month, as strong dollar resulted in a fall in converted value of non-dollar
holdings and government unloaded greenback to defend local currency. Foreign
securities were valued at $408.83 bil, down $1.38 bil on-month. The value of
deposits also fell $6.56 bil on-month to $16.25 bil as of end April. SKorea was
world's eighth-largest holder of foreign reserves.
Big 3 received orders for 114 vessels worth $15 bil so far this year, filing
43% of their 2022 order targets of $35 bil. What stands out most in the
brilliant order sales is quality. Big 3 have been able to cherry pick lucrative
projects against a backdrop of new order boom triggered from the end of
2020. It is also said that their strategies to enjoy rising newbuilding price
have been working well.
shipbuilding industry was awarded 1.64 mil cgt (35 units, 51%) of 3.23 mil cgt
(88 units) newbuilds ordered globally in March,
taking No.1 ranking by beating China that won 1.36 mil cgt (46 units,
42%). For first quarter, according
to Clarksons Research, Korea was ranked number one by winning 4.57 mil cgt (97
units) of 9.2 mil cgt total contracting. Its rival China stood second on
the list with orders of 3.86 mil cgt (130 vessels, 42%). Korea was ahead
of China in 1Q order sales for the first time since 2015. Read more¡¦
skyrocketing raw material prices resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine,
Korean steelmakers are set to raise thick plate prices for ships. According to industry sources, steelmakers such as Posco, Hyundai
Steel and shipbuilders including HHI, SHI, DSME agreed to raise the price of
thick plate for shipbuilding for 1H of 2022. However, they disagreed on the
final price. Steelmakers are demanding
KW110 mil per ton, but shipbuilders are reportedly sticking to KW102 mil per
ton. The steel industry argues that rising prices of raw materials
such as iron ore are inevitable. Raw materials account for 60% of the thick
plates¡¯ production cost. Read more¡¦
ATTACHMENT: Korea Report - April 2022 (PDF FILE)
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