Korea Stocks: Golden Bridge, Hyundai Motor, Korea Express, SK

Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in South Korea trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as of 3 p.m. close in Seoul.

The benchmark Kospi stock index rose 18.69, or 0.9 percent, to 2,108.17, a record. The gauge rose 1.1 percent this week, its seventh straight weekly advance.

Refiners: SK Energy Co. (096770 KS), South Korea’s largest oil refiner, lost 3.1 percent to 188,500 won. S-Oil Corp. (010950 KS) retreated 3 percent to 90,800 won. GS Holdings Corp. (078930 KS) declined 2.1 percent to 69,600 won.

The government needs to review whether oil-product prices are at a “reasonable level,” President Lee Myung Bak said yesterday at a meeting with ministers. The nation’s Fair Trade Commission started a probe into possible unfair activities by refiners after the president’s remarks, the Korea Economic Daily reported. Choi Young Soo, a spokesman at the commission, declined to comment on the report.

Golden Bridge Investment & Securities Co. (001290 KS), a South Korean brokerage, fell 5.1 percent to 2,055 won, the lowest level since Sept. 10. The company incurred losses of 26.9 billion won ($24 million) yesterday from mistaken orders for derivatives, according to a filing.

Korea Express Co. (000120 KS), a logistics company, jumped 15 percent, or the daily limit, to 106,500 won. Posco (005490 KS) is considering buying Korea Express, according to Chung Joon Yang, chief executive officer of the world’s third-biggest steelmaker by output.

“Since Korea Express is not put up for sale yet, we are just reviewing it at the moment,” Chung said at an investor relations session in Seoul.

Posco fell 1 percent to 476,000 won. Net income dropped to 525.4 billion won in the three months ended on Dec. 31 from 1.28 trillion won a year earlier, according to a statement. That’s lower than the 634.4 billion won average of 14 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Hyundai Motor Co. (005380 KS), South Korea’s largest automaker, added 4.4 percent to 200,500 won. The stock gained on speculation the company’s new Grandeur sedan will boost earnings this year, said Park In Woo, a Seoul-based analyst at LIG Investment & Securities Co.

“The Grandeur sedan is a higher-margin model and pre-orders of about 23,000 units are already placed,” Park said.

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