Recruiter In Korea

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Archive for April 2010

Stock Market Tumbles on ‘PIGS’ Shock

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Stocks continue to tumble😦 and the bearish mode continues.  Damn you Greece!!

By Yoon Ja-young
Staff Reporter

The local financial market tumbled Wednesday on the back of the overnight crash in the U.S. and European markets triggered by the downgrading of sovereign ratings for Greece and Portugal over their fiscal problems. S&P pulled down its sovereign rating for Greece to BB+ with a negative outlook from BBB+ (negative), and Portugal to A- (negative) from A+ (negative), Tuesday, on concerns over their fiscal deficits.

Analysts, however, expect the Seoul bourse will turn bullish after undergoing a short-term correction as economic fundamentals are improving here.

The main KOSPI closed at 1,733.91 Wednesday, dropping 15.64 points, or 0.89 percent, from the previous day, while the local currency lost much ground against the greenback.

The concern over the fiscal deficit of the so-called PIGS countries ― Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece ― has been the biggest threat to the global financial market since it began to recover from the credit crunch.

Stocks tumbled in major markets on fear that a new credit bust could be triggered from Southern Europe. U.S. stocks tumbled 1.9 percent, while those in the U.K. and Germany fell 2.6 and 2.7 percent, respectively.

PIGS countries, of course, took the brunt of the fall. Greece stocks plunged 6 percent, Portugal 5.4 percent, Spain 4.2 percent, and Italy saw a 3.3 percent dip.

Both foreign and institutional investors dumped stocks, while small investors bought 381.5 billion won worth.

The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), however, said Korea is safe from the troubles in Greece and Portugal as its exposure to the two southern European countries is exceedingly small.

“Local financial companies’ exposure to Greece and Portugal totals only $400 million as of the end of 2009, or 0.76 percent of total exposure overseas,” the regulator announced.

It added that local financial companies lent only $25 million to Greece, and they haven’t lent any from Portugal.

“Since exposure or lending to Greece and Portugal is small, the effect on local financial companies is expected to be limited,” the regulator said.

However, the FSS added that it would continue monitoring the market as the fiscal crisis in southern Europe could rattle the global financial market.

Park Sang-hyun, an economist at Hi Investment & Securities, said that fiscal problems in these countries are likely to continue. “The fundamental problem is that the fiscal trouble isn’t likely to be solved unless they implement groundbreaking fiscal reform. As the IMF estimated, the fiscal deficit of PIGS countries isn’t likely to see a major improvement this year,” he said.

He added that acceleration of the weakening euro is a more serious problem. “The euro reached 1.31 dollar, falling to the year’s lowest rate. Though Greece and Portugal play a small part in the euro economy, they can have a major impact on global liquidity if their fiscal risk triggers concern over the fall of the euro.”

As global liquidity turned to safe assets, the won turned weak against the greenback. The local currency closed at 1,118.70 won per dollar Wednesday, losing 8.6 won from the previous day.

Analysts expect the Seoul stock market to recover, citing positive fundamentals of the economy.

“Korea is showcasing a solid recovery that is driven by its export competitiveness, strong execution of government stimulus measures in areas where needed, such as infrastructure, and stable consumption,” said Sharon Lam, an economist at Morgan Stanley, expecting 5 percent GDP growth for the country this year.

The country’s central bank reported 7.8 percent preliminary real GDP growth for the first quarter.

Written by recruiterinkorea

April 29, 2010 at 11:27 am

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Private Lenders’ TV Ads to Be Banned

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Good, I’m sick of hearing this shit on TV.  But even more annoying are the constant text messages I receive from 070 numbers.  Sometimes when I’m not busy I like calling them back to tell them to fuck off.  More importantly though, hopefully this will curtail the number of people who fall for these rogue loans and end up paying exorbitant interest rates and send the economy into shambles again.

By Kang Seung-woo
Staff Reporter

The widely recognized, personified radish in advertisements of the nation’s No. 1 private moneylender Rush and Cash could soon disappear, as the government is pushing to ban loan firms from advertising on TV and in daily newspapers.

A total of 30 lawmakers, headed by Park Jun-seon of the ruling Grand National Party, presented a revised bill to the National Assembly Tuesday.

The bill says that loan companies should be only allowed to post advertisements and use bulletin boards at all times inside their office buildings.

According to the bill, they would also be allowed to advertise in weekly magazines 60 times a year, and they would also be permitted to do so in periodical publications issued more than once a year.

In addition, if loan firms choose to sponsor cultural, music or sporting events, they can only use their names in event titles, but are not permitted to advertise in any other way.

Other than these cases, promotions are forbidden.

The radical move came as private moneylenders are emerging as a social problem with many individuals falling victim to loan sharks after being lured by misleading ads.

They attract vulnerable individuals, who have been denied loans from banks due to bad credit, and charge them usurious interest rates.

More often than not, borrowers of such loans saw their interest snowball and then, it becomes impossible for them to pay back their debts.

As a result, earlier this month, the government and the GNP enforced a cap on interest rates at a maximum 39 percent from 49 percent in order to reduce the debt burden on low-income citizens.

The bill is seen as a way to ban moneylenders from going public.

Thus far, they have used cable television stations and daily newspapers to advertise.

“There are too many advertisements by private moneylenders so people are easily likely to fall victim to them,” Park said.

“In addition, the unbridled advertisements are displeasing to those who watch them.”

However, the loan companies reacted angrily, terming it an improper regulation.

“Private money lending is a business according to the law, but it is unreasonable that we cannot advertise,” a loan firm representative said.

“If advertisements are limited, lenders will have to rely on brokers,” added the Consumer Loan Finance Association (CLFA).

“But it will trigger other troubles as the agents receive fees from clients amid excessive credit inquiries.”

Meanwhile, financial authorities are proceeding with caution.

“It appears that the main purpose of the bill is to lower their lending rate and reduce their advertisement fees,” an official of the Financial Service Commission (FSC) said.

“However, it is limiting the freedom of business, so the bill needs to be considered thoroughly.”

An official of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said, “Given the damages caused by exaggerated advertisements, we are in need of measures, but rather than banning commercials, limiting their frequency is a better idea.”

Written by recruiterinkorea

April 28, 2010 at 11:55 am

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Poll: Posco considered best-run firm

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Even though my beloved POSCO is down almost 6% since I bought it, it’s good to see it on top of Korea’s bluechips in terms of best managed companies.

Leading steelmaker Posco took top honors for corporate leadership in a poll by Hong Kong-based financial publishing firm FinanceAsia, ranking as the best-managed company in Korea.

FinanceAsia asked more than 300 investors and analysts across Asia to name leading firms in a variety of categories.

Posco topped other Korean companies in three areas: management, corporate governance and investor relations, according to the results, which were released yesterday. Samsung Electronics Co. was the runner-up in all three categories.

Posco won the management category by a large margin, gaining 45 votes compared to 26 votes for Samsung. Next was LG Household & Health Care, followed by KT Corp., LG Corp., LG Chem, KT&G and Yuhan Corp.

Posco obtained 30 votes for best corporate governance compared to 21 votes for Samsung. Next was KT&G, followed by LG, KT, LG Household & Health Care and Korean Air.

“Posco was considered to have the best corporate governance because its controlling shares are scattered and professional management has led the company since its foundation, unlike other local conglomerates controlled by the founding families,” said Mun Jeong-eop, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co.

Samsung led the rankings in corporate social responsibility, while KT Corp. was seen as the most committed to dividend payments.

The best mid-cap company was Orion Corp., and the best small-cap firm was Shinsegae Food. Investors and analysts picked Lee Yoon-woo of Samsung Electronics as the top chief executive officer. LG Chem’s Cho Je-seok had the honor of being named the best CFO.

By Limb Jae-un []

Written by recruiterinkorea

April 28, 2010 at 11:47 am

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Busan Auto Show Pales Beside Thriving Beijing Exhibition

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Well hearing this sucks considering I’ll be going here on Saturday.  An ‘international’ auto show with only 2 foreign car makers?!?  Come on!!!

The Busan International Motor Show opens on Thursday but it looks like it will be reduced to a mostly local event. Only two foreign carmakers will participate in the show and only one car is to be unveiled for the first time in the world there. It also appears to fail to serve the basic purpose of an auto show as a place where industry insiders can catch up on new trends and share information.

Its lack of appeal is all the more conspicuous since it opens only a week after the 2010 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, which began on Friday.

“The Busan motor show is only as big as one of 670 provincial auto shows in China,” said a Korean car importer at the Beijing show on Sunday. “It does not make a sense to compare the two shows in the first place. It was a mistake from the beginning to hold the Busan exhibition within a week of the Beijing show.”

Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche presents the German  carmakers strategic model for this year at the Beijing Motor Show on  Saturday. /Reuters-Newsis Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche presents the German carmaker’s strategic model for this year at the Beijing Motor Show on Saturday. /Reuters-Newsis

The Beijing motor show is the world’s largest in terms of both the size of the venue and the number of models displayed. Local automakers debuted 75 new models and global firms 14. The scale of the show befits the size of the Chinese auto market, which is expected to grow to about 15 million units this year.

The Busan International Motor Show opens only one week after the Beijing show and runs for 11 days at BEXCO exhibition center in Busan. But there is so little international participation that using the term seems to be an exaggeration. As there will be only one new model unveiled at the show, it will be little more than an exhibition of existing cars.

The Busan show will be attended by 12 local automakers, two foreign carmakers — Japan’s Subaru and Lotus of the U.K. — 137 local auto part suppliers, and 154 auto part makers from six countries including India, Germany and the U.S.

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer showcases this years strategic  model at the Beijing Motor Show on Saturday. /Reuters-Yonhap BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer showcases this year’s strategic model at the Beijing Motor Show on Saturday. /Reuters-Yonhap

In terms of new models, a main draw of most motor shows, it will showcase only the Hyundai Avante MD compact sedan, which will hit the market in August. The Kia K5 mid-size sedan will make its Asia debut but it was already unveiled at the New York International Auto Show earlier this month.

GM Daewoo will display its Vs300 semi-large sedan and the Orlando minivan, which will be released in the second half of this year and next year respectively. But the former cannot be regarded a new model as it is merely a face-lifted version of the Buick LaCrosse luxury sport sedan already available in China. The Orlando has appeared at several overseas motor shows.

Renault Samsung will unveil an upgraded SM3 with a 2.0-liter engine, and Ssangyong will showcase a C200 crossover that is little different from one exhibited at last year’s Seoul Motor Show.

As for foreign automakers, Subaru will exhibit its Legacy sedan, Outback crossover, and Forester SUV. But none of them are new and they will apparently be displayed for promotional purposes ahead of their scheduled sales debuts next month. / Apr. 28, 2010 10:14 KST

Written by recruiterinkorea

April 28, 2010 at 11:39 am

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Ask the Recruiter: Relevant Experience

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Jackie asked:

Hello. I was hoping you could answer a question for me. I don’t have much experience with kids, but about twelve years ago I helped kids (kindergarten age) in gym class. We would organize relay races and things like that. That is basically the extent of my experience with kids. So my question is, how many years can we go back and still have it be relevant experience? Thanks for answering.

Any experience with kids in your lifetime will look good on a resume.  Even though the above wasn’t formal teaching experience with children, it shows that you are able to work with them in a sense.  This includes babysitting, working at a summer camp, baseball coach, etc.

Check out my post here on resume tips for applying to hagwons.

Good luck!

Written by recruiterinkorea

April 28, 2010 at 11:25 am

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Hagwon Owner Withdraws SAT Courses by Star Lecturer

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I read about this story before but I don’t think I posted it.  This is one of those ‘star’ SAT instructors working at a high-paying job at an elite Gangnam hagwon.

By Kang Shin-who
Staff Reporter

A hagwon owner has decided to cancel SAT courses, scheduled from June, by a “star lecturer,” who is currently wanted by police.

Lee Su-jin, owner of the ESC private institute, said she will not run the classes by Jeffery Sohn, 39, who is suspected of obstructing the business of an exam organizer, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), by leaking SAT questions.

“After criticism from the public, I will not work with Jeffery for the time being,” Lee told The Korea Times, Thursday.

She added that many parents wanted Sohn to teach their children and she didn’t know that police had issued an arrest warrant for the lecturer. Police have called Sohn in for questioning, but he has refused to comply and as a result has been banned from leaving the country.

Education Regulations

However, she noted that she would work with Sohn again if the lecturer is found not guilty by the courts.

This part confused/somewhat troubled me:

Officials from the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, which supervises hagwon in the city, say institutes are not allowed to hire a lecturer who has committed a crime.

“Although it is currently morally inappropriate for Jeffery Sohn to teach students, it doesn’t violate education regulations,” said Lee Chul-woong, an official at the education office.

Then again, TIK, guilty until proved otherwise.

Police suspect that Sohn acquired actual SAT questions and offered them to Korean students before they took the test. The popular lecturer set up an online community for those preparing to enter U.S. universities and posted SAT questions after he himself took the tests.

He is famous for picking the right questions for students who subsequently get higher scores on the exam. The lecturer initially started to teach at ESC, specialized in standardized tests required for U.S. universities in Gangnam, but later moved to Recas Academy.

As the lecturer left, ESC filed a lawsuit against the latter institute and recently won their legal battle. While the problematic lecturer was working at Recas Academy, he was kidnapped, taken to a villa in Gyeonggi Province and beaten up by his employer last December after he attempted to leave the academy.

Written by recruiterinkorea

April 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm

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Two Nigerians detained on e-mail fraud charges

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Do people still fall for this shit?  Note to the naive:  if the email sender has a Hotmail or Yahoo email address, they’re probably not diplomats or bankers.  You would think that educated people ‘with a good command’ of English would be a smarter.  Guess not.

It’s an old story: An e-mail from a stranger announces the recipient is a beneficiary of a multimillion-dollar deposit in a foreign bank. All that has to be done to claim the money is paying a customs fee. The offer that sounds too good to be true of course is, but that doesn’t stop the scam from working. What’s rarer is the story where a perpetrator gets caught.

Two Nigerians were arrested and detained on fraud charges yesterday after police said they collected 258 million won ($232,809) from eight Koreans – including a college professor – by claiming to be representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria between January 2009 and last February. Five Nigerian accomplices within the country are still wanted, police said.

“They targeted intellectuals and wealthy people who are well-educated enough to have a good command of English,” said Lee Min-seop, an officer with the foreigner investigation division at Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. “It’s likely that this type of scam will increase in Korea because of the number of people who speak English and wider use of the Web.”

According to police, in one case the Nigerians, identified as M and D, sent an English-language e-mail to a professor surnamed Jeong, 65, claiming to be bankers holding a $2.5 million inheritance for her in Nigeria. To back it up, they e-mailed fake payment approval documents appearing to be from the Nigerian presidential office and Central Bank. Jeong made several wire transfers to the “bankers,” turning over a total of 40 million won.

With other victims, the Nigerians claimed to be United Nations diplomats or FBI officials, again using doctored documents to bolster their scam. Police said when they succeeded in getting an initial payment, they followed it up with demands for more money by claiming they were having difficulties transferring the funds.

The scheme is often conducted entirely by e-mail or post, and police are still investigating what M and D, who entered Korea claiming to be apparel exporters, were doing here.

“If the money is wired to an overseas account there’s no way police can find it, but here the victims’ money ended up in Korean accounts and that’s why they were caught,” the official said.

By Kim Mi-ju []

Written by recruiterinkorea

April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am

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