S. Korea Stocks: Korea Line, Kumho Petrochem, Woori Finance

South Korea’s Kospi index fell 4.94, or 0.2 percent, to 2,077.61 at the close in Seoul.

The following were among the most-active stocks in South Korean markets.

Bulk carriers: STX Pan Ocean Co. (028670 KS), South Korea’s biggest bulk carrier, fell 1.3 percent to 11,600 won. Korea Line Corp. (005880 KS), the second largest, lost 2 percent to 26,900 won. Commodity-shipping costs fell to a 20-month low on speculation that floods in Australia, the world’s largest coal exporter, will slow vessel demand.

Hyundai Motor Co. (005380 KS), the largest automaker, gained 2.7 percent to 194,000 won. Sales in India increased 23 percent to 356,717 vehicles in 2010, according to a statement.

Korea Kumho Petrochemical Co. (011780 KS), a petrochemicals maker, surged 10 percent to 108,000 won. Tong Yang Securities Inc. raised its share-price estimate to 170,000 won from 130,000 won, citing the company’s earnings outlook for this year.

Woori Finance Holdings Co. (053000 KS) retreated 2.9 percent to 15,100 won after saying it’s considering takeovers of savings banks. KB Financial Group Inc. (105560 KS), which also said it’s seeking “various measures” to help struggling savings banks, fell 3.1 percent to 58,800 won. “Investors are worried that major financial companies are seeking to buy savings banks because of government pressure,” said Choi Jung Wook, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co. in Seoul. “It makes no sense for them to buy small savings banks, which will only increase their financial burden.”

Mutual savings banks surged, with Solomon Savings Bank (007800 KS), Jinheung Savings Bank Co. (007200 KS) and Korea Savings Bank (025610 KS) all rising by the daily limit of 15 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Saeromi Shin in Seoul at sshin15@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reinie Booysen at rbooysen@bloomberg.net

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