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Korea Stocks: Amorepacific, GS, Hyundai Merchant, Korea Zinc

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- South Korea’s Kospi index lost 8.24, or 0.4 percent, to 2,009.24 at the close in Seoul, ending a three-day winning streak.

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

Amorepacific Corp. (090430 KS) rose 3 percent to 1.172 million won. The South Korean cosmetics maker was raised to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse Group AG, which said the outlook for the company’s business in China is “becoming stronger.”

GS Engineering & Construction Corp. (006360 KS), a South Korean builder, climbed 2.3 percent to 112,000 won. The company won a $385 million order to build a plant in Saudi Arabia for International Polymers Company, according to a filing.

Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. (011200 KS), Hyundai Group’s largest unit, jumped 6.4 percent to 42,350 won, on speculation its parent’s preliminary agreement to buy a controlling stake in Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. (000720 KS) may collapse. Documents provided by Hyundai Group about its funding plans to buy the 35 percent stake were “insufficient,” according to Korea Exchange Bank, one of sellers of the stake.

“The chances of Hyundai Group losing the preferred bidder status are increasing,” said Kang Seong Jin, an analyst at Tong Yang Securities Inc. “Some buyers suffered financial problems after hefty acquisitions in recent years, and such concerns have weighed on Hyundai Group units.” Hyundai Engineering, South Korea’s largest builder, climbed 2.9 percent to 66,700 won.

Korea Zinc Co. (010130 KS), which produces gold and silver, retreated 1.6 percent to 303,500 won. Gold yesterday fell the most in a week on speculation that the dollar will extend a rally, eroding demand for the precious metal as an alternative asset. Silver also declined yesterday.

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 dboey@bloomberg.net

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