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4 BUSINESS | FINANCE Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Big auto insurers log in
BRIEFS Annual premiums for online car insurance policies
Business sentiment Policyholder : 35-year-old employed male, purchases Avante as his first car (Unit: 1,000 won)
reaches 125 in 2Q 893
to online sales channel
More than half of the com- 804 781
panies in Korea’s 30 industrial
parks expect their business con-
ditions to improve in the second 600
quarter on strong exports and a By Kim Dong-ho been largely dominated by smaller sung Fire & Marine Insurance Co. is 0
JoongAng Ilbo Kyobo Auto Hyundai Hicar Dongbu Meritz Fire & Daum Direct Teachiworld
recovery in consumer spending, insurers such as Kyobo Auto Insur- planning to sell online in order to Insurance Insurance Marine Auto
a survey showed yesterday. A certain 42-year-old office work- ance and Daum Direct Auto Insur- explore what seems to be a promising Insurance Insurance
The business survey index er named Mr. Kim recently bought a ance. These companies had earlier market.
(BSI) for 834 companies polled new auto insurance policy on the turned their eyes to the Internet in Indeed, Internet sales of car insur- Policyholder : 51-year-old employed male, driving experience of more than 3 years
rose to 125 for the April-June Internet, saving 200,000 won ($205) ance policies should account for more 800
786 777 790 770 770
period from 111 for the first on his annual premium. than one-third of total car insurance 744
quarter, according to the survey Expecting that there are hordes of Buying auto insurance sales within five years, and more than 600
by the Ministry of Commerce, savvy consumers just like him, major 50 percent in seven years, Huh Jung-
Industry and Energy. insurers are gearing up to offer poli- online, consumers save bum, chief executive of Hyundai Hicar
Hyundai Hicar Dongbu
Meritz Fire &
Daum Direct Teachiworld
The second-quarter index cies online, a market that has been Direct, said last month.
marks the fifth straight quarter pioneered by smaller players.
about 200,000 won on The biggest strength of such
of the index being over 100, Hyundai Hicar Direct, the car annual premiums online insurance policies is their low Policy terms: Property damage coverage of up to 30 million won. Medical coverage of up to
30 million won. Coverage for family members over the age of 26 at fault for car accidents.
which indicates that optimists insurance unit of Hyundai Marine & prices. Selling online eliminates the
Source: Korea Non-life Insurance Association
outnumber pessimists. Fire Insurance Co. plans to begin cost of offline offices and wages for
The rise in the expectation Internet policy sales in April, making order to compete with big insurance sales agents. According to industry
index is primarily due to robust it the first major Korean auto insurer firms. sources, the price gap between poli- that online insurance policies are that allow them to provide better
overseas demand for Korean to do so. But now that Hyundai Hicar is tak- cies sold on the Internet and those that cheap but low-quality is changing as quality services than small insurance
autos, semiconductors, ships Online auto insurance sales, ing the plunge in online sales, other are not is about 200,000 won on aver- a growing number of mid-sized and companies, are gradually increasing
and general machinery, the which comprised 10 percent of the major insurers are poised to follow age. large insurance companies, armed their market share.
ministry said. Yonhap total auto policy market in 2005, have soon after. Industry sources say Sam- Also, the widespread conception with extensive business networks firstname.lastname@example.org
rises more slowly
Korean farmers’ income
Hallyu needs diversity to live: critics
increased 5.2 percent in 2005 By Yoo Jee-ho of diversity. and on reducing its reliance on a few
from the previous year mainly Staff Writer “Hallyu’s fan base is limited to stars in order to promote its pop cul-
due to a rise in non-farming The wave of Korean pop culture, middle-aged housewives, and hallyu ture.
income, a government report or hallyu, may have swept across Asia products [such as films, songs and tel- Mr. Lam echoed Mr. Hamano’s
showed yesterday. in recent years, but it could soon evision soap operas] aren’t really sentiment that Korea must vary its
Local farming households recede into memory unless clever diverse,” he said. Also, “the hallyu lineup of front-line hallyu stars, com-
had an average income of 30.5 marketers capitalize on the phenome- entertainers aren’t easily distinguish- paring the Korean wave to the popu-
million won ($31,260) last year, na. able from one another.” larity in the late 1980s of Hong Kong’s
compared with 29 million won This was the theme at a seminar Mr. Hamano then cited the Japan- film noir.
the previous year, according to hosted by Korea Trade-Investment ese animation industry as an example The culture commentator said that
the report by the National Sta- Promotion Agency, or Kotra, on the from which hallyu can learn. He said actors Chow Yun-fat and Leslie
tistical Office. sustainability of hallyu in 2006. Yasu- that Japanese animators can churn out (Kwok-wing) Cheung led the way for
But last year’s income ki Hamano, a professor at the Univer- more than 36,000 pieces of work the genre’s success, but that “Hong
growth rate was much lower sity of Tokyo, and Hong Kong-based annually, giving the industry a variety Kong failed to usher in a new genera-
than the 7.9-percent gain in pop culture critic Edward Lam were of content from which to choose for tion of stars and was left stuck in the
2004 and the 9.8-percent rise in two of the guest speakers who showcasing on the global stage, past.”
2003, the report showed. expressed doubts about whether hal- where Japan is the market leader. Mr. Lam added Korean films and
Income stemming from lyu could be an enduring trend. From this perspective, the profes- TV dramas must stay away from love
farming slipped 1.9 percent, but The sequel — Ssangyong Motor Co.’s latest sport utility vehicle Rexton Mr. Hamano said the biggest fac- sor added, Korea must focus on stories and find different topics.
the decline was offset by a 35.7- II was introduced in Seoul yesterday. The follow up to the popular Rexton tor working against hallyu is its lack adding more diversity to its content email@example.com
percent rise in transfer income features improved horsepower. It is priced between 28.8 million won
and a 3.6-percent gain in non- ($29,400) and 33.8 million won. Provided by the company
farming income, the report FOCUS
Uzbek’s top bank
inks pact with KEB
New TI center focused LIG head to scale even greater heights By Kim Chang-gyu So how has he been able to stay fit
Korea Exchange Bank, the
fifth-largest lender in Korea,
said yesterday it will sign a
on mobile multimedia Koo Cha-joon, vice chairman of LIG
Insurance Co., is an adventurous man, and
enough that he tests himself on the world’s
highest of peaks?
“I run marathons regularly to stay in
strategic alliance pact with the By Seo Ji-eun Technology, the center will also his audacious nature will take him to a very shape,” said Mr. Koo, who has run seven
National Bank of Uzbekistan in Staff Writer launch a project to develop next-gen- high place, quite literally. marathons in his 50s. “I know this will be
an effort to help boost trade Texas Instruments Inc., the No.3 eration mobile multimedia platforms Mr. Koo, a 56-year-old in a body that a tough trip, but I have confidence in my
between the two countries. semiconductor maker in the United that can receive various forms of seems half his age, is on his way to Mount physical fitness.”
Under the agreement to be States, opened a research center in broadcasting through mobile phones. Everest. His company is sponsoring Park LIG Insurance, Korea’s second-largest
signed here today, Korea Samsung-dong, southern Seoul yes- The U.S. firm plans to dispatch 30 Young-seok, a mountaineer, on an assault non-life insurer, will sponsor the expedi-
Exchange Bank (KEB) will pro- terday. It is the 12th foreign informa- researchers — or 40 percent of the of the 8,850-meter (29,035-feet) tall peak. tion. The company, thanks in no small part
vide a short-term export credit tion technology research center to entire research staff at the new center Mr. Park’s team left the country yesterday. to Mr. Koo’s personal wish, has been one
line of $20 million to the Uzbek- have been set up in Korea. — to the project and will also bring For someone who has repeatedly said of Korea’s loyal corporate supporters
istani bank. The TI Wireless Technology Cen- researchers from its U.S. headquarters he would travel anywhere in the world “as Koo Cha-joon behind similar trips.
The largest lender of Uzbek- ter will be mainly devoted to devel- on board. The Information Ministry long as there’s enough time to do it,” the “In other nations, those on expeditions
istan will also open won and oping mobile multimedia platforms, plans to offer 23.5 billion won ($24 latest itinerary represents just another step in that direc- like this are considered role models for youth,” said Mr.
foreign currency settlement which the Ministry of Information million) for the project by 2010, a sum tion. Koo. “In Korea, it’s hard to find consistent sponsors for
accounts at KEB. and Communication has identified as Texas Instruments will match. Cur- Mr. Koo, however, will not accompany the crew to the such efforts.”
The Uzbekistani bank has a a new growth engine for Korea. The rently, 11 other global companies, summit; he will settle for the base camp at nearly 6,500 If the journey proves successful, the crew will plant a
market share of around 60 per- ministry was instrumental in attract- including Intel, HP, IBM and meters above sea level. The LIG executive has previously flag bearing LIG’s corporate logo on the summit. The com-
cent in the Central Asian coun- ing the research investment. Microsoft, operate research centers in joined Mr. Park on excursions to K2 in the Himalayas in pany, formerly LG Insurance Co., will officially adopt its
try. Yonhap In partnership with the Korea collaboration with the Information 2001, and to the North Pole last March, but accompanied new name on Saturday.
Advanced Institute of Science and Ministry. firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Park’s crew only to the base camps on both occasions. email@example.com
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