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Korea Stocks: Choong Ang, Doosan, KT&G, Shinsegae, SK Telecom

South Korea’s Kospi index rose 10.17, or 0.5 percent, to 2,043.49 at the close in Seoul today. The gauge is up 21 percent this year. Tomorrow is the last trading day for nation’s stocks in 2010 because markets will be closed Dec. 31.

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

Companies that usually pay high dividends: Korea Exchange Bank (004940 KS) fell 4 percent to 12,050 won. SK Telecom Co. (017670 KS) lost 4.4 percent to 172,500 won. Moorim Paper Co. (009200 KS) dipped 5.6 percent to 9,000 won. KT&G Corp. (033780 KS) retreated 5 percent to 65,200 won. The stocks traded without the rights to the year’s final dividend payments, according to Korea Exchange Inc.

Choong Ang Vaccine Laboratory (072020 KS), a South Korean maker of cattle vaccines, climbed 4.9 percent to 15,000 won. South Korea raised its alert for foot-and-mouth disease to the highest level on concern that an outbreak that began last month may widen.

Doosan Infracore Co. (042670 KS), South Korea’s biggest maker of construction equipment, gained 4.1 percent to 28,000 won. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. (034020 KS) plans to buy about 10.1 million shares of Doosan Infracore for 273 billion won ($238 million), boosting its stake to 44.8 percent from 38.8 percent.

Doosan Heavy, which also said it received a 384.9 billion won order to build a boiler for a power plant in South Korea, advanced 4.9 percent to 84,900 won.

Kia Motors Corp. (000270 KS), South Korea’s second-biggest automaker, climbed 2.8 percent to 51,300 won. The company plans to sell 4 million shares in Hyundai Wia Corp. in a February initial public offering. The automaker’s stake in Wia will be 20.9 percent after the sale, according to a filing.

Shinsegae Co. (004170 KS), South Korea’s biggest discount-store operator, jumped 4.6 percent to 620,000 won. The company said it proposed a one-for-one bonus share issue aimed at boosting the liquidity of its stock.

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