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S. Korea Stocks: Daewoo Shipbuilding, Grand Korea, LG Innotek

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- South Korea’s Kospi index fell 6.80, or 0.4 percent, to 1,955.72 at the 3 p.m. close in Seoul. North Korea may have fired artillery shells into its water near the disputed western border with South Korea today, a government official in Seoul said.

None of the shells fell crossed the border into South Korean waters and the government is examining the incident, an official at President Lee Myung Bak’s office said by telephone from Seoul. The communist nation fired artillery toward South Korea’s Baengyeong island as part of what appears to be regular drills, Yonhap reported.

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 0.9 percent to 11,350 won. Korea Line Corp. (005880 KS), the second biggest, lost 2.7 percent to 25,200 won.

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of commodity-shipping costs, fell yesterday, the first drop in four days, on a surplus of ships to haul coal and iron ore, the bulk materials most-traded by sea.

Light-emitting diode products makers: Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. (009150 KS) rose 1.6 percent to 127,500 won. LG Innotek Co. (011070 KS) gained 1.2 percent to 132,500 won. Earnings will recover beginning in the first quarter as demand for televisions rebounds, said John Park, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co.

“Investors are betting that the companies’ operating rates will rise starting from January,” Park said.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (042660 KS), a South Korean shipbuilder, jumped 3.8 percent to 29,950 won, the most since Nov. 19, on speculation the company may win a drillship order, according to Sung Ki Jong, an analyst at Daewoo Securities Co.

“There are market rumors that the company will make an announcement soon on the order,” Sung said. Ahn Wook Hyeon, a spokesman at Daewoo Shipbuilding, declined to comment.

Grand Korea Leisure Co. (114090 KS), which operates a casino business, climbed 3.5 percent to 19,350 won, the most since Oct. 27. The stock was rated “buy” in new coverage by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which the shares don’t reflect the likely “strong” earnings recovery in 2011, according to a report today.

OCI Co. (010060 KS), a South Korean maker of polysilicon, climbed 3.7 percent to 320,000 won. The company plans to invest 1.9 trillion won ($1.66 billion) to expand output, according to a filing.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at boey@bloomberg.net.

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