As a result of outperformance from the country’s conglomerates, the South Korean economy (EWY, quote) has performed strongly in spite of turmoil in global financial markets. As the country’s presidential election nears, the increased focus on struggling small businesses could be bullish for the long-term prospects of the South Korean economy.
According to a recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “Education at a Glance 2011,” South Korea has the sixth most educated populace in the world. It’s a focus that has paid off in world-class companies such as Hyundai Motors (HYMLF, quote), SK Telecom (SKM, quote) and Kia Motors (KIMTF, quote).
Any Asia outlook piece is sure to address the sustainability of China as the proverbial Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders. The consensus is for slower growth next year, but for every note claiming a manageable reduction in growth there is another foretelling a crash to the bottom.
South Korea is more dependent on exports than others in Asia and runs a current account surplus of about 2% of GDP. Meanwhile, global investors have pondered the implications of regime change across the North Korean border.
Asian stocks closed mixed on Tuesday, as the Asia-Pacific region continues to reel from the sudden death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il sent Asian stocks, particularly in South Korea, down as uncertainty over regional stability reverberated throughout the Pacific Rim.