[WEEKEND WRAP] JUNE 29-JULY 2

 

June 29

[Yonhap] The government plans to actively promote intellectual property financing to make it easier for venture startups and smaller firms to raise funds by using their ideas as collateral, the top financial regulator said Friday.

The FSC unveiled a set of measures in May to allow companies to secure loans using their movable assets, including intellectual property and half-finished goods, as collateral. Under the measures, intellectual property, as well as a company’s claims to future sales, can be used as a means to secure loans, the FSC said. A lack of collateral is one of the main reasons banks reject loan requests from small companies.

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June 29

[Yonhap] In 2019, the Korean government plans to focus its R&D budget on researcher-centered basic research and leading innovative growth, preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution as well as disaster and safety.

The comprehensive R&D Plan aims for world-class research results, cultivating the next generation of researchers and finding the seeds for future society. In order to achieve this, the plan includes the 4 strategies of researcher-centered basic research, the establishment of a basic research support system, creating an immersive research environment based on autonomy and responsibility and creating a basic research ecosystem that the public can witness.

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July 1

[Yonhap] South Korea’s exports will likely maintain their growth in the third quarter of this year despite losing some price competitiveness on the global arena, a state-run trade promotion agency said Sunday.

According to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), its Export Leading Index for the July-September period edged up 0.3 point to 59.6. Sector by sector, the data showed South Korean exports of semiconductors, auto parts, food and textiles may post growth in the coming months, although wireless telecommunication and steel could have to cope with weaker overseas demand.

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July 2

[Yonhap] South Korean exports of SUVs are expected to reach a new all-time high this year despite a drop in the country’s overall overseas auto sales, a trade group said Monday.

Overseas SUV shipments by five automakers in South Korea came to a combined 560,772 units in the first five months of the year, up 4.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA). Exports of SUVs are expected to gather further momentum in the second half of the year as Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. — the top two players in the country — are slated to roll out the upgraded versions of their Tuscon and Sportage SUVs, respectively.

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July 2

[Yonhap] South Korea’s industry minister vowed to expand financial support for companies that cut employees’ working hours and share their jobs under a new working hour scheme aimed at promoting work-life balance. Starting this month, companies with 300 or more employees have been forced to reduce the maximum working hours to 52 hours per week from the current 68 hours. Companies will be given a six-month grace period.

The new work-week system, one of President Moon Jae-in’s main election pledges, is aimed at cutting what are often called “inhumanely long” working hours in South Korea. The reduced working hours, while benefiting some sectors, could be detrimental to others, some market watchers say. There have been worries that manufacturing, construction and certain parts of the retail sector could suffer a setback, at least in the short run.

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