On Oct 9th South Koreans celebrate the 567th birthday of Hangul, the country’s native writing system, with a day off work. South Korea is the only country in the world to celebrate its writing system.

How was Hangul invented?

Oct 8th 2013, 23:50 by S.C.S.

hunmin-chongum

ON OCTOBER 9th South Koreans celebrate the 567th birthday of Hangul, the country’s native writing system, with a day off work. South Korea is the only country in the world to celebrate its writing system. The public holiday, originally introduced in 1945, has been reintroduced this year after being discontinued in 1991 at the request of employers. The day commemorates the introduction of the new script in the mid-15th century, making Hangul one of the youngest alphabets in the world. It is unusual for at least two more reasons: rather than evolving from pictographs or imitating other writing systems, the Korean script was invented from scratch for the Korean language. And, though it is a phonemic alphabet, it is written in groups of syllables rather than linearly. How was Hangul created? Read more of this post

Bad Banks Turn Toxic China Debt to Treasure for Investors?

Bad Banks Turn Toxic China Debt to Treasure for Investors

Lai Xiaomin, chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co., found his schedule packed one morning this year with back-to-back meetings with visitors from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley. (MS) Since the nation’s largest bad-loan manager was restructured into a commercial company last October, Wall Street banks have been clamoring to get in the door. Executives including Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman J. Michael Evans and Morgan Stanley’s co-head of investment banking in the Asia-Pacific region, Shane Zhang, lauded Huarong’s success and expressed interest in buying stakes, according to statements issued by the firm after the meetings in Beijing in January. Read more of this post

After 58 years, the Seul family is relinquishing management rights of their company, Taihan Electric Wire, Korea’s second-largest cable maker behind LS Cable with nearly 25 percent of market share

Seul family ends its management

Founder’s grandson resigns as president of Taihan Electric Wire

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

Oct 09,2013

After 58 years, the Seul family is relinquishing management rights of their company, Taihan Electric Wire, after President Seul Yoon-suk, who is the grandson of company founder Seul Kyung-dong, stepped down Monday.  Taihan said Seul decided he might be a barrier to normalization of the cash-strapped company and left after discussions with creditors to protect employees and shareholders’ profits.

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Korean firms reeling from aggressive M&As

013-10-08 15:29

Firms reeling from aggressive M&As

Tongyang, Woongin, STX struggle to stay afloat on huge debts
By Kim Rahn
Growth is a priority for every business, but growing too fast can spell disaster for a company. Three Korean firms are currently experiencing this problem, after a series of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) brought them more harm than good.
Woongjin, STX and Tongyang, all went down in the last one year. Through M&As, the three groups grew but the tactics used for growth eventually caused them to collapse.
Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI) economist Kim Sung-pyo says it is natural for a company to look for new growth opportunities. “But it would have been better if they focused on sectors with which they were familiar and in which they could take advantage of their existing knowhow,” he said. Read more of this post

Starbucks Aims to Move Beyond Beans

October 8, 2013

Starbucks Aims to Move Beyond Beans

By STEPHANIE STROM

09starbucks-span-articleLarge-v2

La Boulange baked goods at a Starbucks in Seattle.

SEATTLE — In a suburb due east of Los Angeles, Starbucks is opening a $70 million, state-of-the-art plant that will produce cold-pressed juices. The factory is the latest investment that underscores Starbucks’ determination to transform its brand from being synonymous with coffee to a food and beverage juggernaut. In the last two years, Starbucks has spent $750 million acquiring three new businesses — Evolution Fresh juices, La Boulange Café and Bakery, and Teavana — as it tries to muscle in on prized grocery shelves and compete in territory now dominated by the likes of Panera Bread and Chipotle. “We have a lot going on,” Howard Schultz, the chief executive, said in an interview at the company’s offices here. Read more of this post

ASEAN stumbling on road to single community goal by 2015, Brunei urges political will

ASEAN stumbling on road to single community goal by 2015, Brunei urges political will
(45 mins ago)

Asian leaders began meeting today in Brunei against a backdrop of divisive territorial disputes and flagging free trade efforts. Opening the 23rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Brunei today, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (pictured) said the outlook for the bloc was positive, but there are challenges to the one community goal.
“Overall the outlook for the ASEAN region remains promising,” Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said. “Nonetheless, with two years left to go we still face challenges in implementing our community roadmap.” Read more of this post

Korean firms lag far behind in innovation; Three Korean firms have been included in a list of the world’s 100 most innovative companies: Samsung, LG Electronics, LG Industrial Systems)

2013-10-08 18:20

Korean firms lag far behind in innovation

By Kim Tae-jong
Three Korean firms have been included in a list of the world’s 100 most innovative companies. But Korea still lags far behind Japan in terms of patent-based metrics, as a total of 28 Japanese companies made the list. The three local firms appearing in Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Global Innovators report were LG Electronics, LSIS and Samsung Electronics
This list shows patent activity as a proxy for innovation and honors the 100 corporations that are at the heart of pushing patents, and selects those that secure global patent protection for their intellectual property, continue to push the envelope with new technologies and invest more in R&D. Read more of this post

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