[WEEKEND WRAP] MAY 18-21

May 18

[Yonhap] South Korea will raise incentives for offshore wind farm operators and cut back subsidies on biomass producers to promote more eco-friendly energy sources.

The latest scheme is part of efforts to increase the percentage of renewable energy from the current 7 percent to 20 percent by 2030, which would push up clean energy output to 63.8 gigawatts (GW) capacity by the target year. South Korea has been seeking to shift its focus from coal and nuclear energy to renewable energy to cope with worsening air pollution and address public safety concerns over aged atomic power plants.

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May 20

[Yonhap] Saudi Arabia has assured South Korea of its commitment to a stable oil market, after prices hit $80 a barrel for the first time since 2014. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid Al Falih, said his government will provide full support for a stable oil supply to South Korea, one of its major buyers.

The price rally followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and restore wide-ranging sanctions on the major oil producer.

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May 21

[Yonhap] South Korea’s exports rose 14.8 percent on-year during the first 20 days of May, thanks to brisk shipments of semiconductors and petrochemical goods.

The country’s outbound shipments reached US$29.1 billion in the May 1-20 period, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service (KCS). By product, outbound shipments of semiconductors surged 42.8 percent, with those of petrochemical goods rising 19.1 percent.

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May 21

[Yonhap] The number of foreign funds investing in the South Korean stock market has more than doubled over the decade, exceeding the 20,000 mark this year. A total of 21,328 foreign stock investment funds were registered with the Financial Supervisory Service as of the end of March, up 112.7 percent from 10 years earlier and accounting for slightly over 62 percent of foreign institutions operating in South Korea.

By country, the most investors came from the U.S., with 15,061, taking up 33.2 percent of the total, trailed by Japanese investors with 3,972 and Britons with 2,657.

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May 21

[Yonhap] South Korea will make use of an extra budget as soon as possible to create new jobs for young people and help industrial regions grappling with massive layoffs.

A large chunk of the money approved by lawmakers will be used to subsidize the hiring of new regular workers at smaller firms. Seoul also said tax incentives will be given to new workers and small firms that hire them. The remaining funds will be spent to help those who lost their jobs in the wake of massive restructuring in the shipbuilding and the automaking sectors, according to the ministry.

Read more here.

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