South Korean President Park Geun-hye is appointing Hyun Oh-seok as finance minister, paving the way for stimulus measures to boost growth in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy.
Hyun, 62, was to be appointed yesterday afternoon, Park’s spokeswoman Kim Haeng said at a briefing televised on YTN network.
Pressing on with Hyun’s appointment in the face of objections from opposition lawmakers may bring forward measures that Park hopes will spur the economy after growth last year was the weakest since the global financial crisis.
After his nomination, Hyun said short-term policy support is needed.
“Hyun becoming finance chief is likely to speed up preparation for a stimulus package, given that Hyun shares the view that a policy boost is needed,” said Kim Hyeon-wook, an economist at SK Research Institute who has worked under Hyun.
Hyun was president of the state research center Korea Development Institute, which was founded by Park’s father, former dictator Park Chung-hee.
He has a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and previously worked at the World Bank, as well as South Korea’s finance ministry.
The government may announce a supplementary budget of 10 trillion won (US$8.9 billion) on Tuesday, Yonhap News reported this week, without saying where it got the information.
South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance Director-General Choi Sang-mok said no decision had been made.
Delays in filling the finance minister slot have been costly because consumers and companies are delaying spending until they see the new government’s stance, said Kong Dong-rak, a fixed-income analyst at Hanwha Investment & Securities Co in Seoul.
“It’s a great loss to our economy to have the economic-policy control tower empty for nearly a month,” Kong said.
South Korean officials aim to get the nation closer to a potential growth rate estimated by central bank Governor Kim Choong-soo at 3.8 percent, after last year’s 2 percent expansion was the weakest since 2009.
Challenges include a stagnant property market, an aging population and weakness in the yen that aids export competitors in Japan.
“Hyun will need to announce at least 20 trillion won of supplementary spending to achieve growth of about 3 percent this year,” Lee Chul-hee, chief economist at Tongyang Securities Inc, said by telephone in Seoul.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status, but even there the hallowed silver screen might be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears. “Whenever things get better and theaters begin operations, I will watch three movies a day for sure just as a way to celebrate,” said the Mumbai rickshaw driver, who is recovering from the virus himself. However, others might not join the party. With cinemas shut for months due to a COVID-19 lockdown, and little prospect they will reopen soon, frustrated Bollywood producers have turned to