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  Korea Report - May 2022
  Author : Hwang & Co     Date : 22-06-07 12:12     Hit : 350    
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KOREA REPORT - MAY, 2022.


TOP ISSUES.


President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol took office on 10th morning, starting a new chapter of SKorea for the next five years. Yoon will start his term as the 20th president of SKorea at underground bunker of his new presidential office in Yongsan-gu, central Seoul. Underground bunker will serve as situation room for national crisis management center. The center was previously located in underground floor of Cheong Wa Dae, but was moved to Yongsan-gu under Yoons directive to relocate the presidential office.

 

US President Joe Biden arrived in SKorea on 20th for his first visit as president, as both countries claimed NKorean nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile test was imminent. President Biden kicked off his three-day trip to SKorea with a tour of Samsung Electronics (SEC) chip-manufacturing complex in Pyeongtaek, 70 kms south of Seoul. President Yoon accompanied him as SEC Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong guided them through the facility, which is a model for new Samsung semiconductor plant being built in Taylor, Texas. It is the first time that leaders of two nations paid visit to Samsung factory together. Read more

 

SKorea scrapped outdoor mask mandate, starting 2nd, except for large gatherings of 50 or more, as it begins to take steps toward return to normalcy. As of 1st, 44.54 mil, or 86.8% of the population, had been vaccinated with first two shots, and 33.12 mil people had received first booster shots (64.5%).

 

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min became first Asian player to win scoring title in the Premier League. Son scored twice in Tottenham's 5-0 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road in Norwich, England, on 22nd, and finished 2021-2022 season with a career-high 23 goals. Son shared the Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah of Liverpool.

 

NK launched a ballistic missile on 4th, an apparent submarine-launched ballistic missile in waters off its eastern coastal city of Sinpo on 7th, another ballistic missile into the East Sea on 12th and three consecutive ballistic missiles toward the East Sea on 25th. Read more

 

SKorea is expected to face a "grave" risk from rising inflation for the time being, as the recovery of consumption will further add price pressure amid high energy costs, First Vice Finance Minister Bang Ki-sun said on 20th. Government plans to beef up its monitoring of key items, including cooking oil and petroleum products, in a bid to ease the burden from elevated inflation. Consumer prices spiked 4.8% on-year in April, fastest increase in 13 years, which followed 4.1% rise in March. Korea Development Institute revised its 2022 inflation outlook to 4.2% from its earlier estimate of 1.7%.

 

SKorea posted trade deficit of $1.71 bil in May, on soaring global energy prices. Exports rose 21.3% on-year to $61.52 bil on solid demand for chips and petroleum products, the highest tally since 1956. Imports jumped 32.0% on-year to $63.22 bil.

 

Combined first-quarter sales of major firms in SKorea surpassed the KW700 tril ($545 bil) mark for the first time on strong performances by chips, electronics, petrochemicals and auto manufacturers, according to CEO Score on 17th. SKoreas top 344 out of 500 companies by sales came to KW791.5 tril in Jan-March period, up 19.6% on-year. By sector, information technology, electric and electronics industry posted largest sales with KW143.3 tril. Petrochemicals sector came next with KW101.4 tril, followed by autos and auto parts with KW78.9 tril, insurance with KW67.2 tril and securities with KW48.2 tril. Shipbuilding, machinery and equipment industry suffered 2.7% on-year decline and communications sector saw sales shrink 1.8%.

 

SKorea's foreign reserves came to $447.71 bil as of end May, down $1.59 bil on-month, declining for third straight month, as government unloaded the greenback to prevent local currency from sharply weakening. Foreign securities were valued at $401.49 bil, down $7.33 bil on-month, which accounted for 89.7% of total foreign reserves.

 

SKorea's consumer prices rose at the fastest clip in almost 14 years to 5.4% on-year in May, due to high energy and food costs over the protracted war between Russia and Ukraine and economic recovery, according to Statistics Korea. It marked the steepest on-year increase since Aug 2008. Inflation growth also exceeded 5% for the first time since 5.1% rise in Sept 2008. Read more

 

It seems that cooperation with Zvezda shipbuilding complex and Korean shipbuilders has ceased. Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said through its compatriot media that existing Korean shipbuilders expressed their intention to refuse cooperation. So, it has to revise the production schedule. Zvezda shipbuilding cluster project has been carrying out under Bolshoy Kamen TAD. Russian energy major Rosneft signed a technology partnership agreement for the project with foreign companies such as Korea, China, and France in Sept 2017. Read more

 

Around 70 days since outbreak of the war in Ukraine, large-sized shipbuilders in SKorea are at risk of failing to receive payment from Russia to which international community's restrictive sanctions imposed. According to industrial source, value of ships and offshore plants Big3' are scheduled to deliver to Russian owners reached KW7.15 bil in total. By company, SHI has $5 bil in its orderbook, with $1.6 bil for DSME and $505 mil for HHI Group. 

 

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