Seoul markets lose ground on talk of breakdown in Hanoi talks

2019.02.28 15:48:49 | 2019.02.28 16:01:54

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South Korean stocks with business interest in North Korea crashed in late Thursday trade as mood suddenly changed after lunch in Hanoi that led to panicky selling in fears of a collapse in the second summit meeting between the United States and North Korea in Hanoi, Vietnam, taking a toll on the overall Korean markets.

Hotel and resort operator Ananti Inc. that lost around 3 percent in earlier trade on profit taking extended losses towards the market close to end 25.83 percent lower at 21,100 won ($18.76).

The sudden change of the afternoon schedule – cancellation of signing of a joint agreement – dashed hopes about a breakthrough in inter-Korean ventures through progress in denuclearization negotiations in Hanoi after a yearlong stalemate following the first summit in Singapore in June last year.

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The main Kospi that mostly stayed positive in the day finished 1.8 percent lower at 2,195.44 and the Kosdaq 2.8 percent lower at 731.25.

Other resort operators Daemyung Corporation lost 22.54 percent to 2,440 won, Hanchang Corporation 22.71 percent to 3,200 won.

Shares of companies that once ran factories inside the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the North also dropped. Good People shares lost 25.43 percent, Shinwon 21.15 percent, In the F 16.84 percent, Cheryong Electric 18.34 percent, and Kwangmyung Electric 13.99 percent.

Other companies with the possibility to join infrastructure building projects in North Korea also were down on the same day. Tuksu Construction shares tumbled 20.9 percent, Korea Cement 10.71 percent, Woowon Development 21.58 percent, Yooshin Engineering Corporation 25.41 percent, Asia Seed 20 percent, and Kyungnong Corporation 21.76 percent.

These companies have been on a roller coaster ride as they rallied recently in hopes that tourism program could be renewed around Mount Kumgang with other inter-Korean economic cooperation projects upon the results of the second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi.

But market sentiment soured amid skepticism about Washington and Pyongyang reaching an agreement that can lead to immediate changes on the economic front.

By Chung Hee-young and Lee Ha-yeon

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