Heejin Koo (822)
November 30, 2000
Seoul, Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) Korean stocks fell, led by Korea Electric Power Corp. on concerns a weakening won will increase the foreign debt burden of the power generation monopoly. The won slid to a fresh 13-month low of 1213.65 per dollar during morning trading.
“Whenever the won weakens significantly the Kepco slides because the burden on its foreign debts rise,” said Doh Joong Young, who manages 400 billion won ($330 million) at Samsung Investment Trust Co. Doh declined to say whether he was planning to sell Kepco shares but said he didn’t plan to buy any more.
Adding to declines, SK Telecom Co. fell on concern its expenditure will rise as it became the only company to bid for a stake in PowerCom Corp., the nation’s largest high-speed communications cable network. The bid may cost about 1.4 trillion won ($1.2 billion), based on the price at the first auction in July.
The Kospi fell 11.68, or 2.3 percent, to 504.76, on course for the lowest close in a month. Decliners outnumbered gainers 545 to 246 with 69 shares remaining unchanged. The over-the-counter Kosdaq index fell 2.15, or 3.1 percent, to 66.30.
The following is a list of companies whose shares are active. The stock symbol is in parentheses after the company name.
Korea Electric Power Corp. (1576 KS ) shed 1,650 won, or 6.7 percent, to 22,900 and was responsible for 21 percent of the key index’s loss as investors fret a weaker won will result in slimmer earnings as its foreign debt burden rises.
SK Telecom Co. (1767 KS ), Korea’s largest mobile phone service operator, shed 9,500 won, or 3.8 percent, to 240,500 as it became the only one left to bid for a controlling stake in PowerCom after LG Group pulled out from bidding to focus on the wireless phone business.
Computer memory chipmakers fell after the spot price for the industry-standard 64-megabit dynamic random access memory chip rounded off a three-day decline of 8.6 percent to $3.81. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index, which international investors track to gauge the performance of global chipmakers, also slid 15 percent in three days. Samsung Electronics Co. (0593 KS ), the world’s largest computer memory chipmaker, shed 1,000 won, or 0.6 percent, to 160,000. Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. (0066 KS ), the second largest, fell 290 won, or 4.1 percent, to 6,750.
LG Engineering & Construction Co. (0636 KS ) gained 30 won, or 0.8 percent, to 3,710 after the Maeil Business Newspaper said the construction unit of Korea’s third-largest industrial group may offer more than a 10 percent dividend to shareholders at the end of this year.
Regent Merchant Bank (1565 KS ) shares rose for the first time in eight days, by 65 won, or 5.2 percent, to 1,320 after the lender said a three-day run on deposits, sparked by alleged stock manipulation, had ended, easing concern the bank might be forced to shut down.
Korea Telecom Freetel (3239 KS ) fell 2,400 won, or 6.7 percent, to 33,500, on course for the lowest record close. The stock has dropped for an eighth time in 10 days. Korea’s second- largest mobile phone service operator has been falling even before it said last week it will earn about half what analysts predicted for the year after increasing marketing costs to compete with larger rival SK Telecom Co.
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