With North Korea escalating its threats to test a ballistic missile, South Korean President Park Geun Hye was conferring with Bill Gates on another pressing matter. Seated across from Microsoft Corp.’s billionaire co- founder on April 22 at a formal dining table in the Blue House, her official residence, Park picked the tech mogul’s brain about how to nurture entrepreneurs to keep the world’s 15th-largest economy humming.
South Korean investors were crushed by the market crash that swept the world three years ago. The Seoul stock exchange’s Kospi Index lost 41 percent during 2008, while the most popular mutual fund fell 39 percent.
About an hour south of Seoul, bulldozers are demolishing the last vacant factories at Samsung Electronics Co.’s Suwon campus, erasing signs that South Korea’s most valuable public company once made its headquarters in a smoke-fuming industrial complex.
SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s biggest mobile-phone company, offered to buy 20 percent of Hynix Semiconductor Inc. even as prosecutors investigate whether the chairman of the carrier’s controlling group misused funds.
Billionaire Richard Chandler, who became one of New Zealand’s richest men by pushing for reforms at South Korea’s SK Group, disclosed he’s one of the biggest shareholders in Sino-Forest Corp., the Chinese company targeted by short-seller Carson Block.
Lee Bok Sun is ready to shut her 28- year-old fruit store in Seoul, after her customers switched to a new hypermarket owned by one of South Korea’s chaebol, the family-controlled business groups that dominate the economy.