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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 April 19, 2017

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

Court upholds 16-month jail term for professor over fabricated Oxy report

SEOUL -- An appeals court on Wednesday upheld a 16-month prison term handed down to a local professor on charges of bribery for manipulating a report in favor of Oxy Reckitt Benckiser in a high-profile toxic humidifier disinfectant case.

The Seoul High Court convicted the professor at Hoseo University in Asan, some 100 kilometers south of Seoul, of writing the report in return for money between October 2011 and September 2012.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks end lower on U.S. slump, foreign selling

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks closed lower Wednesday as foreigners offloaded stocks on profit-taking in the face of overnight losses on Wall Street. The won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 10.06 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 2,138.40. Trade volume was moderate at 337.71 million shares worth 4.71 trillion won (US$4.1 billion), with decliners outnumbering advancers 412 to 376.

(News Focus) Item rentals expand market presence on surging demand

SEOUL -- The item rental market in South Korea is expanding its range of lineups into various areas, ranging from fashion accessories and digital cameras to furniture, as a growing number of consumers are willing to use products at affordable prices and return them instead of owning them outright, industry observers said Wednesday.

Renting goods have emerged as a lucrative business here, as people, especially the younger generation, are increasingly open to the idea of borrowing items for everyday use and less inclined towards ownership, which was the case with their parents.

(LEAD) Hyundai, Kia to promote SUVs in Shanghai Motor Show

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. -- South Korea's two biggest carmakers -- plan to promote China-oriented crossovers at the Shanghai auto show, a move aimed at absorbing growing demand for sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) in the world's largest auto market.

In the 2017 Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, open to the public from April 21-28, Hyundai Motor will debut the all-new ix35 and its sister company Kia will reveal the K2 Cross.

S. Korea's finance minister to attend G-20, IMF meetings

SEJONG -- South Korea's finance minister will attend international meetings of the world's top economic policymakers later this week to discuss ways to improve international policy coordination, his office in Sejong said Wednesday.

Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho, who doubles as the deputy prime minister for economic affairs, will attend the Group of 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting to be held in Washington on Thursday and Friday, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

Woori Bank's Q1 net up 44 pct on decreased provisions

SEOUL -- Woori Bank, a major South Korean commercial lender, said Wednesday its first-quarter net profit shot up 43.8 percent from a year earlier due mainly to decreased loan-loss provisions.

Net profit jumped to 637.5 billion won (US$559 million) in the January-March period on a consolidated basis, compared with 443.3 billion won a year earlier, the lender said in a statement.

(LEAD) S. Korea's economy capable of responding to crises: regulator

SEOUL -- South Korea's economic fundamentals are sound and it is capable of "fully" responding to potential crises at home and abroad, the nation's top financial regulator said Wednesday.

Zhin Woong-seob, governor of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), said, however, global uncertainties, including U.S. interest rate hikes and a wave of protectionism, make it "increasingly difficult to predict the future we're headed towards."


Presidential hopefuls asked to reveal policy on N.K. defectors

SEOUL -- An agency claiming to help the son of the slain brother of North Korea's leader has openly asked South Korean presidential contenders to reveal their stances on the protection of North Korean defectors on the run abroad.

The website for Cheollima Civil Defense, seen on Wednesday, asked the candidates for the May 9 presidential election whether they are willing to accept and protect every North Korean in need of shelter.

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