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KOREA REPORT - MAY, 2022.
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 Yoon¡¯s
directive to relocate the presidential office.
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¡¦
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%).
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.
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. SKorea¡¯s 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%.
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
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.
ATTACHMENT: Korea Report - May 2022 (PDF FILE)
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