Samsung U Unit G Gives Hankook a a R Reprieve

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8 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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EASY TOSWALLOW?– The president of Hyundai Electronics, Park Chong-sup, taking a break to quench his thirst
while announcing the chipmaker’s rescue plan.By
Kim SSeong-ryoung
Hyundai Electronics Industries Co.
plans to raise 1 trillion won ($782 mil-
lion) through sales of assets including its
telecommunications and liquid crystal
display businesses. The debt-ridden
memory chip maker announced its new
rescue efforts Wednesday in Seoul.
“We aim to lower our debt from 7.8
trillion to 6.4 trillion won by the end of
this year,” Park Chong-sup, president
and CEO of Hyundai Electronics said,
“and we will completely separate from
the Hyundai Group in the first quarter.”
Hyundai Electronics will shed its
telecommunications and liquid crystal
display businesses by June. Since the
divisions employ 6,000 people, the
semiconductor producer’s staff will be
reduced to 17,000.
To combat declining memory chip
prices, Hyundai Electronics plans to
lower its proportion of dynamic random
access memories to total output from 82
percent last year to 71 percent this year.
Hyundai will increase its production
goal for static random access memory
and flash memory to 1.1 trillion won
from 600 billion won last year. Hyundai
Electronics will also sell 400 billion
won of its holdings in Hyundai Autonet
and Shinsegi Telecom, and put its office
building in Seoul up for sale.
The company will seek more than
2 trillion won this year to reduce debts.
“Since we can sell semiconductors for
more than market prices and plan to
reduce investment by half from last
year, we will be able to secure the
amount,” Mr.Park said. The state-run
Korea Development Bank will purchase
2.9 trillion won of the company’s matur-
ing corporate bonds; its banks provided
800 billion won in December loans.
Hyundai Electronics plans to freeze
wages of executives and encourage
them to buy more company stock.
Reporters asked Mr.Park about
rumors that the chipmaker plans to sell
the 11 percent stake held by Chung
Mong-hun of the Hyundai founding
family and Hyundai Merchant Marine
to a Taiwan firm. He said, “We are cur-
rently searching for buyers. We can sell
the stake to any foreign chip maker. We
can also sell the shares to a domestic
company but a sale to a foreign compa-
ny is more likely.”
hongsi@joongang.co.kr
Hoping to stimulate the economy
and create jobs, the government said
Wednesday that it will begin 256 public
projects earlier than initially planned.
The total budget allocated to the
public projects amounts to 21.8 trillion
won ($17 billion), and the government
plans to spend 54 percent of it by March,
a Seoul spokesman said.
As part of the program, the con-
struction of part of the West Coast High-
way that connects Dangjin and
Seocheon will be completed by the end
of September, not the end of this year as
initially planned.
Aside from investment in social
overhead, the government said it will
also spend 45 percent of the budget allo-
cated to the public employment projects
by March, creating 180,000 jobs.
Out of 700 billion won to be used to
ease cash shortages of small to medium
sized companies, 370 billion won will
be released in the first quarter.
“Some oppose the idea, saying that
early spending can use up the tools to
boost the economy in the latter half of
the year,” an official from the Ministry
of Planning and Budget said. “ But if the
government drives the economy in the
first half of the year, the private sector
will be able to take the lead later in the
year.”
joonlee@joongang.co.kr
BRIEFS
JoongAng Ilbo, Thursday, January 18, 2001
4
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Government to Accelerate
Spending to Aid Economy
LCD, Telecom Sale to Raise $780 Million
Chip Firm to Shed Units
Finance Minister
Fires Back at FKI
Policy Criticism
Minister of Finance and Economy Jin Nyum
said Wednesday that the business community
must “overcome selfishness and change drasti-
cally” in a biting response to criticism of the
government’s economic policy by the Federa-
tion of Korean Industries, a conglomerate lobby
group. Mr. Jin spoke at the federation’s annual
CEO seminar.
Mr. Jin said the federation must change to
answer the call for a new corporate culture
exemplified by leading start-up companies.
“The federation must not be the spokesman
exclusively for the interests of large business.
The federation has become synonymous with
mass selfishness, and it is time to change that.”
The government is working to reform the
economic system based on market principles in
which innovation and competition will be the
basis of the economy, Mr. Jin said. “The feder-
ation has not shown what it is doing for its part
to undertake reform, but it has been quick to
oppose structural changes such as introducing
collective shareholder voting.”
The changes must be made before they
become necessities, and continuous restructur-
ing and reform are the only means of survival in
the fast-changing business environment, Mr. Jin
said. Business must realize that corporate man-
agement must be rooted in the market, which
will inevitably appreciate changes that will lead
to greater efficiency, he said.
“The choice is now for business to make,”
Mr. Jin said. “There will only be two categories
of executives: those who are quick and those
who are dead.”
The federation issued its recommendation
and opinions Tuesday on the government’s eco-
nomic policy, saying the government has failed
to clear uncertainty prevalent in the economy. It
also opposes business restrictions on large
groups and shareholder reforms.
A high-ranking federation official said, “Mr.
Jin appears to hold misconceptions about the
federation and conglomerates in general. I think
he is being unjustly harsh in his criticism.”
jackkim@joongang.co.kr
By Kim Young-sae
Staff Writer
By Hong Seung-il
JoongAng Ilbo
Hankook Real Estate Trust Co. nar-
rowly escaped default as its creditor Sam-
sung Heavy Industries Co. agreed late
Wednesday to defer collection of 83.8
billion won ($65.6 million) in bills.
The government-invested real estate
trust company contracts out construction
of residential and commercial buildings
and receives payments from home buy-
ers. Samsung requested payment at a
Korea Exchange Bank branch Tuesday
before negotiating until late Wednesday
with other creditors in attendance.
“Samsung has withdrawn the request
and will continue talks through the end of
the month,” a bank official said. The bills
arose from the construction of a new bus
terminal in Bundang, south of Seoul.
Earlier, construction ministry offi-
cials presided at a meeting of officials of
Samsung, Korea Exchange Bank, and
other creditors but failed to agree on a
proposal to extend the payment date.
Samsung asked the government to
guarantee the payment, but creditors with
secured interest in the real estate trust’s
unearned revenue balked at the proposal.
Hankook said that fallout from a
default involving contractors and home
purchasers who have made pre-comple-
tion down payments could total 1.7 tril-
lion won. there are 65 projects con tract-
ed by the public real estate company.
jackkim@joongang.co.kr
Samsung UUnit GGives
Hankook aa RReprieve
By Cha Jin-yong / Kim Young-sae
JoongAng Ilbo / Staff Writer
By Lee Hyo-joon
JoongAng Ilbo
Rival Airlines in Web Venture
Rival airlines, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, signed an agree-
ment Wednesday to operate an online travel agency together.
The chief executive officers of the two companies announced
jointly that the Internet venture, to be called Airline Portal, would be
the first cooperative effort ever put forth involving the competitors.
The two companies decided to embark on the cooperative ven-
ture in order to better compete with other airlines that have gained
advantages in available capital and technology after consolidating
their Internet services on portal sites.
The new enterprise will be established by the end of June, after
the two agree on the details of the arrangement, including ownership
shares and strategic issues regarding profit-making, technology and
marketing.The Web site will then be up and running some time in
the second half of the year.
The new site will provide information on travel, ticketing, hotel
reservations, and travel-related products.
Energy Agency Entry Sought
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy plans to push
for Korea’s entry into the International Energy Agency in order to
collaborate with other developed countries on oil technology and
procurement.
A ministry official said Wednesday that the ministry will submit
an application for membership at the agency’s next conference,
which will be held in May. The energy forum, which comprises 25
member countries and is linked with the Organization for Econom-
ic Cooperation and Development, was founded in 1974 by the major
petroleum consuming countries to cope with high oil prices. It con-
ducts research on alternative energy sources, coordinates energy pol-
icy and lends petroleum in emergencies.
One condition for membership in the agency is a 90-day oil
reserve, which Korea, by volume the world’s fourth biggest importer
of oil, already meets.
The ministry also said it would build by 2004 a “Green Village”
housing complex which would use only solar and wind power.
Consumer Confidence Slides
Consumer confidence cooled in December for the sixth consec-
utive month, according to data compiled by the National Statistical
Office.
The statistics agency said Wednesday that its Consumer Evalu-
ation Index, which gauges consumer confidence, came in at 64.6
points for December, its lowest reading ever, breaking the previous
record low of 65.9 from November 1998. After falling below the
100-point level last May, the index has been declining since it edged
up slightly in June.
To calculate the index, the agency polls households to collect
data on spending confidence. A reading lower than 100 means that
the number of households that are curtailing consumption exceeds
those that are spending more.
Also worse in December were other indices the agency uses to
project economic health, including those that indicate consumer
expectations for the economy, consumer spending six months ahead,
living conditions, household incomes and household debt.
Daewoo Motor’s labor union went on strike Wednesday after-
noon, but because many union members chose to ignore the strike
call, the carmaker’s factories operated as usual, Daewoo said
Wednesday.
Of 2,365 assembly workers at the automaker’s largest plant in
Bupyeong, Inchon, who walked off their jobs at 1 p.m., all but 300,
those who were demonstrating in downtown Seoul, were back on the
assembly lines 90 minutes later.
The workers may have been concerned by an official letter that
the company sent to the union which said that the National Labor
Relation Commission had declared the strike unjustifiable under the
law. The letter also said that Daewoo would deal with the workers
who chose to participate in the strike according to both the law and
company regulations.
Protesting the carmaker’s plans for restructuring, the union had
called for a “partial strike” at the Bupyeong factory that was to last
four hours from its 1 p.m. starting time. The 300 unionists who went
the full length of the strike were demonstrating in front of the gov-
ernment complex in Gwanghwamun.
Daewoo Motor Strike Fizzles