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(LEAD) China-related retailers stung by Wuhan coronavirus fears

All News 15:46 January 28, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES stock prices throughout)

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean duty-free operators and cosmetics firms dependent on Chinese tourists were hit hard Tuesday by concerns that the fast-spreading China coronavirus may hurt their sales and profitability.

The outbreak of Wuhan coronavirus in China has ignited worries that a decrease in Chinese visitors may hit retailers, cosmetic companies and airlines.

In the case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015, the number of foreign travelers slipped 6.8 percent on-year, taking the heaviest toll on the numbers of Chinese tourists who canceled their flights and tour packages in the peak summer season.

(LEAD) China-related retailers stung by Wuhan coronavirus fears - 1

Hotel Shilla, a duty-free operator, fell 10.31 percent to close at 87,000 won (US$73.94), while another major retailer, Lotte Shopping, dipped 7.31 percent to 120,500 won. Shinsegae contracted 12.07 percent.

Amore Pacific Co., the nation's leading cosmetics maker, shed 8.47 percent to finish at 194,500 won, while its rival LG Household & Health Care Ltd. sank 7.12 percent to 1,253,000 won.

Travel stocks were also hit hard by the Wuhan coronavirus alert. Shares in Hana Tour Co., the nation's biggest tour agency, and No. 2 Mode Tour dipped 10.18 percent and 9.26 percent, respectively.

Entertainment stocks were also hammered by the virus woes.

Stock prices of SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment, the two largest entertainment firms by market capitalization, shed 8.61 percent and 6.67 percent, respectively. YG Entertainment also declined 6.01 percent.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 3.09 percent from the previous session to close at 2,176.72 points, hit hard by the spread of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus.

Tourists wearing masks visit Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul on Jan. 27, 2020. (Yonhap)

jwc@yna.co.kr
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