Shares of South Korean cosmetics makers were buoyed on the news that more than 5,000 Chinese group tourists began their six-day trip in Korea, raising expectations of Beijing’s lifting in group tours that has not been entirely removed since 2017 over Seoul’s deployment of U.S. missile shield.
The Korea Tourism Organization confirmed Tuesday that around 5,000 employees of Yi Yong Tang, Shenyang-based health supplement manufacturer, were staying in Korea from Tuesday to Sunday as part of the company’s incentive program for its employees. It is the largest single Chinese group since Beijing imposed group tours to Korea early 2017 in retaliation against Seoul’s installment of a U.S. antimissile system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) despite strong opposition from China.
Beauty shares kept up despite crash in the Korean stock market due to tit-for-tat military attacks between Iran and the United States. Aekyung Industrial that owns AGE20’s and Luna, popular brands among Chinese, soared 7.34 percent to close at 30,700 won ($26.13) on Tuesday. Its shares ended Wednesday unchanged at 30,700 won.
Hankook Cosmetics shares finished Wednesday up 2.18 percent at 11,700 won after jumping 4.09 percent to 11,450 won on the previous day. AmorePacific closed 3.82 percent lower at 214,000 won after soaring 7.49 percent to 222,500 won on Tuesday. LG Household & Healthcare stock added 0.15 percent to end at 1,345,000 won on Wednesday after gaining 7.53 percent to 1,343,000 won in the previous session. Overall market sentiment abruptly turned bleak on Wednesday after Iran retaliated against the U.S. with multiple missile attacks for the U.S. killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, sparking risk aversion among investors.
Amid the thawing bilateral tensions, the number of Chinese visitors to Korea increased 26 percent from a year ago to 6 million in 2019.
By Shin Ik-soo and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]