Thursday, April 25, 2002

Take a wild ride on the Korea stock market - if you dare. The best performing stock market in Asia plummeted by 43.11 to 872.58 after recently hitting a 24 month high just earlier this week. After spending some time vacillating around the 900 mark today's drop, if it persists could end up making smug economists who have been lauding the Korean stock market for most of this year swallow their words. But somehow, I don't think that will be the case.

There are good reasons for thinking Korea is a good destination for investment. Despite today's slump it still remains one of the most vibrant markets in Korea. The Korean economy is one of the most buoyant with growth expectations for the year around 4-5%. Yet, perhaps the most compelling reason for thinking Korea is a good place to invest is the recent boom in consumerism. The stunning growth in the credit card business is underlies an economy that is evolving into a more sophisticated market. Where once the economy relied almost exclusively on exports of heavy and chemical industries, Korea now boasts a more diversified portfolio and a strong domestic consumer market.

Indeed, my favourite most recent article about the Korean stock market goes to the Washington Post not only because it was so optimistic about Korea's stock market but it also quoted from well known scholar and President of KIEP, Professor Ahn, Choong Young, from an article he wrote and I edited! How cool is that!? There were my the Washington Post!! Of course, the article itself was good too.

However, today's stock market slide is a timely reminder that the Korean economy is very much part of the global economy and still vulnerable to the ups and downs of the US markets and world trends.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui