The Korean Won took a dive yesterday, prompting further worries that the large conglomerates who make chips, CD drives, monitors and other PC parts will seek to dump product in order to raise more US dollars.
That happened as rumours continued to circulate in the UK channel that one of the smaller Korean monitor manufacturers told its distributors it was ceasing to sell its products. A company representative said that the managing director and the chief financial officer "had left for the day".
A leaked report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed that its reserves fell to $24 billion at the beginning of the month, compared to $30.5 billion in October, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But most of its current reserve is being used abroad to meet debts in foreign banks, meaning that the country is operating on a perilously thin margin of only $6 billion.
And even this amount is in jeopardy, with the South Korean government committing all of that money towards contracts and commitments to sell its US dollars.
The IMF, so far, has only lent South Korea a sum slightly less than $6 billion, leading to the real possibility that the former so-called ?tiger economy? could end up as a bankrupt pussy kitten.
But most Western governments do not want that to happen. The UK, in particular, is expected to lobby the IMF because most of the inward investment here is provided by Korean and Japanese companies.
According to Bob Raikes, chief analyst at Meko, the expected fallout has not yet happened.
He said that companies like Samsung, which make monitors for the European market at its Teeside site, was reaping the benefit of not having to ship products from the Far East.
Its output would continue next year, said Raikes, and offered cost benefits over its other competitors.
And while memory prices remain low, there is, so far, no sign of any massive dumping from the Korean companies, according to UK distributors.
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