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Alone among Asian markets, Kospi rises

Dec 13,2007
Korea’s main stock market rose for a second-straight day yesterday, becoming the only gainer among Asia’s major stock markets. The benchmark Kospi rose 2.38 points, or 0.1 percent, to end at 1,927.45.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.8 percent to end at 598,000 won ($645). Posco, Korea’s largest steel maker, slid 0.8 percent, and No. 1 lender Kookmin Bank remained unchanged.
Shares of KT, the nation’s leading landline and broadband operator, rose 1.6 percent on anticipation of a possible merger with KTF, the No. 2 wireless operator. KT Chief Executive Nam Joong-soo said on Monday the company is considering a merger with KTF to expand services. KTF rose 0.7 percent.
SK Telecom, Korea’s top wireless operator, which is seeking to take over Hanarotelecom, the No. 2 broadband operator, also gained 2.6 percent. Hanarotelecom climbed 0.8 percent. LG Telecom, the smallest wireless operator here, inched up 0.5 percent.
“We believe telecommunication shares will continue their strong performance throughout 2008 on high anticipation over a series of mergers and acquisitions,” said Stan Jung, an analyst at Woori Investment and Securities.
Shares of LS Cable, Korea’s largest wire and cable manufacturer, rose 1.5 percent after the company said that it plans to sell its idle properties near Seoul, estimated to be worth 400 billion won.
Korea Express, the biggest package delivery service provider here, soared 6.4 percent as 10 local companies including Hanjin Group and Kumho Asiana Group lined up to bid on the firm.
Trading volume was 301.7 million shares, worth 5.5 trillion won. Decliners led advancers, 508 to 288.
The tech-heavy Kosdaq lost 4.81 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 729.52. Trading volume was 633.4 million shares, worth 2.7 trillion won. Losers outpaced gainers, 608 to 339.


By Jung Ha-won Staff Reporter [hawon@joongang.co.kr]


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