중앙데일리

News at Samsung damps enthusiasm of investors

Apr 23,2008
Korean stocks finished lower yesterday as investors dumped shares following the Samsung Group chairman’s decision to step down over alleged corporate misconduct, analysts said.
The benchmark Kospi lost 12.99 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,787.49. Volume was moderate at 340 million shares worth 6.1 trillion won ($6.1 billion), with losers outpacing gainers, 476 to 318.
“Lee Kun-hee’s decision to step down as chairman of Samsung Group may be beneficial in the long run, but it could bring uncertainty to the group’s short-term business and affect the overall economy,” Bae Young-sung, an analyst at Hyundai Securities said.
STX Pan Ocean, Korea’s biggest ocean liner, advanced 3.8 percent to 2,625 won, the highest since Jan. 11. Korea Line, the second largest, added 2.9 percent to 192,500, the highest since March 7.
First Fire and Marine Insurance, a nonlife insurer, jumped 15 percent to 17,950 won, the highest since May 1997. It’s the fifth straight day the stock rose by the daily limit since it has become a takeover target for Meritz Fire and Marine Insurance. Hanwha Non-Life Insurance gained 1.9 percent to 21,100 won, its highest since Feb. 19. Hanwha Group said on Monday it would buy control of First Fire to block a hostile takeover attempt by Meritz.
Financial and energy stocks also lost heavily. Top lender Kookmin Bank slid 2.6 percent and third-largest refiner S-Oil plunged 5.1 percent after announcing disappointing first-quarter earnings.
Shipyard shares prevented the key index from falling further. Global leader Hyundai Heavy Industries rose 0.7 percent to 370,000 won and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering added 1.0 percent to end at 46,300 won.
The secondary Kosdaq rose slightly to 650.58, an increase of 0.52 point or 0.1 percent.
The local currency finished at 997.2 won against the dollar, down 5.7 won from Monday’s close, as offshore investors snapped up the greenback, dealers said.
Yonhap, Bloomberg


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