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Monday, January 22, 2018

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Record-high Profits Amid Uncertain Variables

15 January 2018 - 2:30pm
Jung Min-hee

The major four South Korean oil refiners are expected to post more than 8 trillion won (US$7.53 billion) in surplus last year for the first time in history thanks to stable oil prices and a boom in non-oil refining business, including petrochemical.

According to oil refining industry sources on January 14, SK innovation Co., GS Caltex Corp., S-Oil Corp. and Hyundai Oilbank Co. are now summing up their sales performance in the fourth quarter last year and the combined operating profit of the four companies are expected to reach 2.1 trillion to 2.3 trillion won (US$1.98 billion to 2....

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An increasing number of information technology (IT) companies, such as gaming and security, have declared to enter the cryptocurrency exchange market.

Due to Unrealistic Policy?

15 January 2018 - 2:00pm
Yoon Yung Sil

The South Korean government is strengthening regulations to eradicate an overheated cryptocurrency speculation but an increasing number of information technology (IT) companies, such as gaming and security, have declared to enter the cryptocurrency exchange market. In particular, they consider the shutdown of cryptocurrency exchanges an unrealistic policy so they are preparing to join the market as planned.

According to related industry sources on January 14, firms that are seeking to run new cryptocurrency exchanges, including NexG and HanbitSoft, are accelerating the establishment...

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The prices of newly listed digital currencies – Civic and Enigma – plunged as much as 99 percent on the domestic exchange Gopax at 11:30 pm on January 12.

Reasons for Regulations

15 January 2018 - 11:00am
Yoon Yung Sil

There is growing recognition that the investment in virtual currencies is speculative due to a series of unusual price movements on a South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchange.

According to industry sources on January 14, the prices of newly listed digital currencies – Civic and Enigma – plunged as much as 99 percent on the domestic exchange Gopax at 11:30 pm on January 12.

As Civic and Enigma became tradable on the Gopax , investors offered Civic at 1,809,900 won (US$1707.45) and Enigma at 1,810,000 won (US$1707.55) and other investors bought the virtual currencies at the same...

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SK Global Chemical and Sinopec established China-Korea Petrochemical in China in 2013.

For Risk Sharing

15 January 2018 - 10:30am
Jung Min-hee

In the past, South Korean companies established local subsidiaries and conducted M&As in most cases to penetrate overseas markets. These days, however, an increasing number of them are opting for risk sharing with local joint venture partners for the same purpose.

The number of such joint ventures is likely to continue to increase for the time being in that the business of South Korean companies in China were negatively affected last year by China's economic retaliation related to THAAD deployment in South Korea. Joint venture establishment has its own side effects though. One...

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The third unit of the Shingori Nuclear Power Plant has been in safe operation without stopping for 389 days since the completion of its construction in December 2016.

Safe and Convenient Model

15 January 2018 - 10:15am
Jung Min-hee

The third unit of the Shingori Nuclear Power Plant has been in safe operation without stopping for 389 days since the completion of its construction in December 2016.

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced that the third unit of the Shingori Nuclear Power Plant has been in safe operation without stopping for 389 days since the completion of its construction in December 2016 and that its first preventive maintenance is implemented on January 12.

The third unit is an APR-1400 reactor developed by South Korea. It is better than previous 1 GW models in terms of...

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IC Insights predicted that memory semiconductors would grow 5.2% a year on average between 2017 and 2022.

Amid Contradictory Forecast

15 January 2018 - 10:15am
Cho Jin-young

With optimism and pessimism about the memory market mixed, some experts predicted that the memory semiconductor market will grow about five percent only by 2022. If the prediction turns out to be correct, it will deal a big blow not only to semiconductor-heavy Samsung Electronics but to the Korean economy which heavily hinges on semiconductor manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.

According to the semiconductor industry on January 14, market researcher IC Insights predicted that memory semiconductors would grow 5.2% a year on average between 2017 and 2022 through...

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Kim Hyun-seok (sixth from left in front row), head of Samsung Electronics's CE Division is cutting a tape with Henry McMaster (fifth from left in front row), governor of South Carolina during a ceremony in Newberry, South Carolina, on January 12.

Coping with Safeguard on Korean Washers

15 January 2018 - 9:45am
Michael Herh

A new home appliance factory built by Samsung Electronics in the state of South Carolina started operation. The Korean home electronics giant began to run the factory in a hurry for the purpose of minimizing damage as US President Donald Trump will finally decide on a safeguard on Korean washers by February 4.

According to Samsung Electronics on January 14, a new home appliance factory in Newberry County, South Carolina, held a ceremony to mark the first shipment of its products on January 12 and the new factory was put into operation. The event was attended by Kim Hyun-seok, head...

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The US Department of Commerce applied the AFA (Adverse Facts Available) regulation on Hyundai Heavy Industries’ transformers while imposing a high-rate anti-dumping duty.

Applying AFA on Transformers

15 January 2018 - 9:30am
Jung Min-hee

The US government expanded an anti-dumping duty on high-capacity Korean transformers six-fold by overturning a ruling on them which was made two years ago.

According to industry sources on January 14, the US Department of Commerce raised the antidumping tariff on large transformers exported by Hyundai Heavy Industries of Korea early this month to 25 percent. The tariff will apply to products which Hyundai Heavy Industries has been exporting to the US since August 2013 and is more than sextuple the tariff of four percent in 2016. The ruling came after ABB, a US...

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Once the US sanctions against Iran are resumed, a large number of plant construction projects and energy development projects involving South Korean companies can take a direct hit.

Projects Facing A Direct Hit

15 January 2018 - 9:15am
Jung Min-hee

U.S. President Donald Trump postponed the imposition of sanctions on Iran on January 12 (local time). 2,522 South Korean companies doing business with Iran breathed a sigh of relief. The U.S. President stressed that this is the last chance for the U.S. and Europe to improve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The JCPOA was signed in July 2015 by the United States, Iran, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia. It is to stop Iran’s nuclear weapon development by imposing no economic sanctions on Iran. According to local laws, the U.S. President is to make...

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The Korean government applied to the WTO for retaliatory action against imposition of unfair anti-dumping tariffs on South Korean washing machines by the United States.

Application for Retaliatory Tariffs

15 January 2018 - 9:15am
Jung Suk-yee

The Korean trade ministry announced on January 14 that it had applied to the WTO for retaliatory action against imposition of unfair anti-dumping tariffs on South Korean washing machines by the United States.

Back in February 2013, the United States imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on washing machines Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics exported from South Korea. The tariff rates were 9.29% and 13.2%, respectively. In response, the South Korean government filed a suit with the WTO in August 2013. The South Korean government won the case in September 2016.

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