LTW: Korean Economy in Good Shape?
While the global economy has been tanking from the Corona crisis, S.Korean economy has been relatively hit softer. The latest OECD survey showed Korea's GDP will drop only 0.8% in 2020, the best among the 37 OECD nations with average forecasted to be negative 7.5%. The second best was Turkey with minus 4.8%. Hyundai also did fairly, making 590 billion Won($494M) operating profit in Q2 this year, while all other major car makers are bleeding red, thanks to strong sales of luxury brand Genesis models and no shutdown of Hyundai plants in Korea. Korean stock market was O.K too, climbing from a low of 1,439 at the time of Corona peak in March to 2,400 in the KOSPI index, the highest in the past 24 months. Economists contribute all of this to the proactive containment of Corona pandemic with no lockdown and expansionary fiscal policy to minimize damage to the economy.
Another business humming along are three Korean battery makers that enjoy increasing demand for electric vehicles worldwide. The stock price of LG Chemical, the world's No.1 battery maker with 25.5% market share, jumped 46% in one month, My wife bought 16 shares of LG Chemical on Aug 3 at 310, 000 Won($260),and it went up to 445,500 Won($370) on Aug 7. So confident in her new found financial prowess, my wife is soon to announce to Wall Street investors the price for dinner with her.