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S Korea Restructuring May Hit Econ Data In 1H 2001

Dow Jones, Wednesday 13 December 2000, 8:40 AM

SEOUL (Dow Jones)—The restructuring of South Korea’s economy could have a negative effect on economic data in the first half of 2001, the Ministry of Finance and Economy said Wednesday.

A slowdown in corporate production and rising unemployment rate are expected to weigh on economic data early next year.

But the country’s economy is expected to ride on a normal path from the second half of next year if corporate and financial reforms are thoroughly completed, the ministry said in a report.

Completion of current restructuring as soon as possible and (the) regaining (of) market confidence is most important, said the ministry, adding that private spending and investment will go up as a result.

The ministry’s report comes at a time when workers at local banks including Kookmin Bank (Q.KOO) are protesting against what they call government-led merger plans. Labor unions said mergers will lead to layoff of many workers.