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Yonhap News Summary

All News 13:38 June 07, 2016

The following is the first summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday.

BOK forecast to hold key rate steady for June: poll

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank is widely expected to hold its key rate steady in June, a poll showed Tuesday, amid what economists called mild signs of recovery and a looming U.S. rate hike.

In a survey conducted by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap News Agency, 11 out of 13 economists polled forecast the Bank of Korea (BOK) to stand pat on its key rate this month.

Venture firms' exports drop on global slump

SEOUL -- Exports by South Korean venture companies fell this year for the first time in three years, stung by the continued sluggishness of the global economy, data showed Tuesday.

Overseas shipments by local startups came to US$5.23 billion in the January-April period, down 6.5 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the data by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

S. Korea develops wheeled armored combat vehicles for infantry troops

SEOUL -- South Korea has developed a wheeled armored combat vehicle that can greatly enhance the mobility and striking power of its infantry troops, the defense acquisition agency said Tuesday.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA)'s wheeled armored vehicle project, undertaken by defense maker Hyundai Rotem since 2012, has been successfully completed, DAPA said in a statement. It said the locally built vehicle passed its final qualification test on May 9.

Lotte Chemical bids for U.S. chemicals firm Axiall

SEOUL -- Lotte Chemical Corp., a major chemicals maker, said Tuesday that it has submitted a bid to take over a U.S.-based chemicals firm to expand its business portfolio.

In a regulatory filing, the company said it has submitted a bid to take over Axiall Corp., a deal estimated at over 3.3 trillion won (US$2.78 billion). No financial details were revealed.

(LEAD) Parties miss parliamentary formation deadline as they clash over key posts

SEOUL -- South Korea's ruling and opposition parties remained deadlock on Tuesday over which side should fill the positions of the parliamentary speaker and chairs of key committees as they again missed the legal deadline for the formation of the parliament.

The ruling Saenuri Party and the Minjoo Party of Korea have been wrangling over parliamentary committees and who will name the National Assembly speaker after the main opposition secured one more seat vis-a-vis the ruling party in the April 13 polls.

Google Korea CEO summoned again in toxic sterilizer probe

SEOUL -- The CEO of Google Korea who formerly headed the local unit of Oxy Reckitt Benckiser was summoned again by prosecutors Tuesday to face questions over the British firm's toxic humidifier sterilizer which has caused numerous deaths and illnesses here.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office summoned John Lee as a suspect in the snowballing case that involves scores of deaths since 2011, including some pregnant women.

Korean Air keen to secure cash to handle maturing debt

SEOUL -- Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea's top air carrier, is going all out to secure liquidity by issuing a large amount of asset-backed securities (ABS) in an apparent bid to handle maturing debt, industry sources said Tuesday.

Korean Air, whose parent Hanjin Group is beset by a liquidity crisis engulfing its shipping arm, floated some 340 billion won (US$287 million) worth of ABS in April and May. The airline is also considering issuing an additional 700 billion won in July.

Hotel Lotte IPO faces delay amid bribery investigation

SEOUL -- Hotel Lotte Co.'s proposed initial public offering (IPO) is expected to be postponed as senior officials have come under investigation for alleged bribery related to its duty-free business, according to sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Lotte's hotel and duty-free unit has been preparing to list its shares on the Seoul bourse on June 29, planning a series of overseas roadshows starting from this week to attract offshore investors.

Samsung SDS mulls split of logistics biz

SEOUL -- Samsung SDS Co., a key IT unit of the Samsung Group, said Tuesday that it is considering splitting its logistics business in a bid to foster competitiveness.

"The company is reviewing a plan to split off the Samsung SDS logistics division to strengthen competitiveness in global logistics and focus on management capacity," the company stated in a regulatory filing.

Russia, China share concern about THAAD deployment in S. Korea

BEIJING -- Senior officials from Russia and China held talks in Beijing and shared concerns about the possible deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system to South Korea, according to China's official media on Tuesday.

The talks, led by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and Kong Xuanyou, China's assistant foreign minister, were held on Monday, on the same day the U.S. and China began their high-level talks in Beijing.

Overseas sales of Kia's Sportage SUV hit monthly record in May

SEOUL -- Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's second-largest carmaker, saw its sales of the Sportage SUV around the globe hit a record high last month thanks to strong demand for its latest model, industry data showed Tuesday.

According to the data, Kia Motors sold a total of 50,208 units of the Sportage in overseas markets in May, the largest-ever figure on a monthly basis since its global debut in 1993.

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