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S. Korea signs deal with Central American development bank to fund US$100 mln

SEJONG: South Korea reached an agreement with a development bank in Central America on Tuesday to finance US$100 million for the region’s infrastructure-building projects, the finance ministry here said. Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho and Nick Rischbieth, the president of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), signed a deal in Seoul to create a combined $200 million fund to ... Read More »

S.Korea posts trade surplus for 59 months through Dec

SEOUL: South Korea’s economy posted trade surplus for 59 months through December due to recovery in exports, which account for about half of the export-driven economy, customs data showed Monday. Trade surplus was 6.8 billion U.S. dollars in December, down from 8.1 billion dollars tallied in November, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS). The trade balance stayed in black ... Read More »

S Korea’s oil imports from Iran up 8 times

SEOUL: Official figures show South Korea’s imports of oil from Iran last December soared about eight times greater than a year ago – what may be a yet another indication that the Islamic Republic is getting a stronger position in the global oil market in a post-sanctions era.    Figures released by South Korea’s customs office also showed that the country’s ... Read More »

Bank of Korea leaves key interest rate unchanged

SEOUL: South Korea’s central bank left its key interest rate unchanged for a seventh month yesterday, even as it cited a weakening recovery in cutting its 2017 growth forecast. The Bank of Korea said exports are likely to improve but noted slowing economic growth in the fourth quarter of last year. The bank kept the seven-day repurchase rate at a ... Read More »

Bank of Korea cuts growth outlook as scandal hits economy

SEOUL: South Korea’s central bank has trimmed its forecast for the country’s growth in 2017 partly due to the fallout from a massive influence-peddling scandal. Bank of Korea said Friday that the economy will likely expand 2.5 percent this year, slower than its October prediction of 2.8 percent growth. It said Asia’s fourth-largest economy will grow 2.8 percent in 2018. ... Read More »

Korea’s food price inflation highest among OECD states

SEJONG: The pace of food price inflation in South Korea ranked among the top in comparison to other member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as of November last year, statistics from the organization showed Thursday. The prices of foodstuffs and non-alcohol beverages in South Korea were up 4.5 percent from a year before, the third ... Read More »

S. Korea’s exports soar 38% in first 10 days of Jan

SEJONG: South Korea’s exports soared 37.8 percent in the first 10 days of this month from a year earlier to continue the recent upbeat mode, the latest customs data showed Wednesday. The country’s exports totaled US$11.64 billion during the cited period, up from $8.46 billion tallied over the same period last year, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS). Outbound ... Read More »

S.Korea’s import prices rise for 4 months on expensive crude, weak currency

SEOUL: South Korea’s import prices rose for four months through December due to expensive crude oil and weaker local currency, central bank data showed on Wednesday. The import price index advanced 4.2 percent from a month earlier to 83.14 in December, the highest in some two years, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). It marked the fourth consecutive monthly ... Read More »

South Korea agrees to U.S. egg imports

SEOUL: The U.S. has come to an agreement that should allow it to begin exporting eggs to South Korea for the first time ever. Negotiations took place as the Asian country is struggling with the worst outbreak of avian influenza in history. A Fox News article says egg demand is expected to pick up ahead of the country’s upcoming Lunar ... Read More »

FTA boosting exports to Korea

SEOUL: The start of 2017 saw two thirds of New Zealand’s exports to Korea become duty free, up from 46% in 2016. Trade Minister Todd McClay says more local food businesses looking to expand into Korea will benefit from the latest round of tariff reductions under the New Zealand-Korea Free Trade Agreement, signed December 2015. New Zealand has experienced strong ... Read More »

South Korea import sales fall 17% in Dec, 8% in 2016

SEOUL: Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea continued to fall sharply in December, by over 17% to 20,117 units from 24,366 a year earlier, according to data released by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association. Full-year sales fell by 7.6% to 225,279, from 243,900 units in 2015, reflecting a sharp fall in Volkswagen-Audi sales after the group’s emissions ... Read More »

Digital bank seeks gov’t approval for service

SEOUL: A consortium led by Kakao Corp. on Friday applied for the government’s approval for its plan to establish an Internet-only bank. Kakao Bank submitted the application to the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to start business. If approved, it would become the nation’s second full-time digital bank after K-Bank led by KT Corp. The envisioned lender to be headquartered in ... Read More »

S.Korea egg import subsidies criticized as insufficient, late

SEOUL: South Korean egg importers on Friday criticised the government’s plans to subsidise the cost of fresh egg imports to alleviate a shortage caused by the country’s worst-ever bird flu outbreak as insufficient and too late to meet upcoming holiday demand. South Korea will spend 900 million won ($758,000) to support shipment costs for eggs imported by air and ship ... Read More »

S. Korea aims for $510 bln in exports in 2017

SEJONG: South Korea will post a total of US$510 billion in exports for 2017 through reorganizing its industrial portfolio and focusing on higher-added-value consumer goods and services, the government said Thursday. In its annual policy plan submitted to Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said the country’s exports will rebound to grow 2.9 percent on-year ... Read More »

Regulator to focus on structural change in household debt

SEOUL: South Korea’s financial authorities said Thursday that they will place top priority on reining in household debt this year through a “structural shift” in the borrowing practice. In a report to Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn on its policy direction, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) pointed out the structural vulnerabilities of the nation’s household credit totaling more than 1,300 trillion ... Read More »

Korea’s current account surplus increases to $8.99 bn in Nov on exports growth

SEOUL: South Korea’s current account surplus in November reached $8.99 billion on increased exports and imports, extending its longest-ever surplus streak of 57 months, the central bank data showed. According to preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea (BOK) on Wednesday, the nation’s current account surplus increased to $8.99 billion in November from $8.72 billion in October, keeping up ... Read More »

South Korea plans tax changes to boost growth

SEOUL: Within its proposed policy framework for 2017, the South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance has announced various tax changes to counteract the continued economic uncertainties, including measures to create jobs and support new growth industries. For example, to encourage the commencement of job-creating investments, there will be an extra two percent corporate tax credit for posts created in ... Read More »

South Korea lifts import tariffs for eggs to ease egg shortage

SEOUL: SOUTH Korea’s import tariffs on egg products will be cut to zero from Wednesday as part of the government’s efforts to ease an egg shortage sparked by the country’s worst-ever bird flu epidemic. South Korea’s agriculture ministry said on Tuesday the tariff cut will be applied to a total of 98,600 tonnes of eight types of egg products including ... Read More »

South Korea Dec exports rise 6.4%

SEOUL: South Korean exports in December rose for a second straight month, data showed on Sunday, adding to hopes for a firm turnaround in shipments that have fallen for most of the past two years. Exports rose 6.4 percent on-year to $45.07 billion in December while imports jumped a faster 7.3 percent to $38.07 billion, resulting in a trade surplus ... Read More »

South Korea’s petrochemicals exports estimated to hit record high in 2016

SEOUL: South Korea’s petrochemicals exports are estimated to have reached an all-time high last year largely due to a rise in demand in their biggest export destination, China, and other newly emerged markets, industry data showed Monday. Exports of petrochemicals produced by South Korea’s four oil refiners were tallied at 445 million barrels in the first 11 months of the ... Read More »