No more coffee, soda, candy at Olive Young stores

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No more coffee, soda, candy at Olive Young stores

Olive Young, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, will stop selling coffee, carbonated drinks and confections.

The chain reportedly stopped ordering coffee drinks, coffee-flavored dairy products, carbonated beverages and energy drinks early last week.

Instead, it plans to expand and concentrate on sales of diet supplements, vitamins and health supplements.

The drugstore industry speculated the move was in response to a recent controversy over the drugstores’ infringement on mom-and-pop stores.

The fast-growing drugstores have been selling food and beverages as well as cosmetics and household goods. As a result, there was criticism that Olive Young had become another form of super supermarket.

New Heemang Holssi loans’ value surpasses 4 trillion won

The volume of extended New Heemang Holssi (spores of hope) loans, one of the government’s low-interest lending programs for low-income people, passed the 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion) mark at the end of March, data by the Financial Supervisory Service showed yesterday.

The loan program was introduced in November 2010 and targets groups with less than 30 million won annual income regardless of their credit rating or those with less than 40 million won annual income with a credit rating of 5 or below.

According to the FSS, in the first quarter banks extended a total of 491.1 billion won in 51,230 Heemang Holssi loans. Since the start of the program, a total of 457,748 people have received loans worth 4.1 trillion won. Each loan subscriber can borrow up to a maximum of 20 million won. Interest rates for the loans range between 11 percent and 14 percent.

Meanwhile, the delinquency rate of New Heemang Holssi loans as of the end of March was 2.7 percent, a 0.3 percentage point increase compared to the end of December.

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