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Yonhap News Summary

Yonhap News Summary 17:17 March 14, 2023

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

Monetary policymakers highlight need for time to gauge impact of previous rate hikes: minutes

SEOUL -- Most central bank policymakers underlined the need to take time to gauge the impact of previous rate hikes when they decided to leave the policy interest rate unchanged last month, minutes of their meeting showed Tuesday.

The seven-member monetary policy board of the Bank of Korea (BOK) held a rate-setting meeting on Feb. 23 and voted to freeze its key interest rate at 3.5 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks dip over 2.5 pct amid SVB fallout concerns

SEOUL -- Seoul stocks dropped more than 2.5 percent Tuesday, as investors remain wary about the fallout from the collapse of two U.S. banks and uncertainties over the Federal Reserve's monetary tightening. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 61.63 points, or 2.56 percent, to 2,348.97.

Ranking presidential officials own assets 10 times greater than national average: civic group

SEOUL -- The average assets owned by high-ranking officials at the office of President Yoon Suk Yeol amount to 4.83 billion won (US$3.7 million), about 10 times greater than the national average, a civic group said Tuesday.

The Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice disclosed the findings in a press conference after analyzing assets of 37 high-level presidential officials.

Lotte Energy Materials sets sail after Iljin takeover

SEOUL -- Lotte Chemical Corp. said Tuesday its new copper foil making unit, established after its takeover of a local manufacturer of the key battery material, will operate under the new name Lotte Energy Materials.

The official launch of Lotte Energy Materials came about five months after it announced plans to buy a 53.3 percent stake in Iljin Materials Co. through a rights offering.

U.S. sending Marines from mainland, Japan to Korea for joint drills

SEOUL -- U.S. Marines based in the United States and Japan are taking part in ongoing annual combined drills with South Korea on the Korean Peninsula, according to the Indo-Pacific Command on Tuesday.

Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) in Okinawa, and the 1st Marine Division stationed in California "joined their ROK counterparts" for the Freedom Shield (FS) exercise, it said. ROK stands for the Republic of Korea, which is South Korea's official name.

Finance ministry calls for passage of tax bill for chipmakers

SEOUL -- South Korea's finance ministry on Tuesday called for the passage of a revised tax bill centering on providing more incentives for chipmakers, claiming Asia's No. 4 economy should not miss the "golden hour" to revitalize the chip industry.

In January, the government proposed a tax code revision to apply a higher tax credit rate of 15 percent on facility investment in the chip industry for conglomerates, higher than the current rate of 8 percent. The rate for small and medium-sized businesses will also rise from 16 percent to 25 percent.

(2nd LD) Volvo targets 20 pct sales growth in S. Korea this year

SEOUL -- Volvo Cars said Tuesday it is targeting a 20 percent on-year sales growth in South Korea this year helped by electric models and investments in local aftersales facilities.

The Sweden-based carmaker sold a total of 14,431 vehicles in Asia's fourth-biggest economy in 2022, down 4 percent from 15,053 units a year earlier.

(LEAD) Yoon, Japan's Kishida to discuss ways to 'normalize' bilateral ties at summit

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will talk about ways to "normalize" the bilateral relationship, including through the implementation of Seoul's solution to the issue of wartime forced labor, during their summit in Tokyo this week, his office said Tuesday.

Yoon and Kishida will meet Thursday on the first day of the South Korean president's two-day working visit to Japan, National Security Adviser Kim Sung-han told reporters. The summit will be followed by a dinner.


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