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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       JoongAng Daily
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)
                                                                                                                                                                      1,000
reaches 125 in 2Q                                                                                                                                                                                893
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   854
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                835              829


                                    to online sales channel
    More than half of the com-                                                                                                                                                   804                             781
                                                                                                                                                                       800
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
                                                                                                                                                                         0
                                                                                                                                                                              Kyobo Auto
                                                                                                                                                                               Insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                            Hyundai Hicar      Dongbu
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Meritz Fire &
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Marine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Daum Direct      Teachiworld
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Auto
    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Insurance                         Insurance

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                                   hawon@joongang.co.kr

Farmers’ income
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                                   jeeho@joongang.co.kr
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
showed.                 Yonhap

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
                                                                                                                                         JoongAng Ilbo
     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.      spring@joongang.co.kr      Mr. Park’s crew only to the base camps on both occasions.                                         jeeho@joongang.co.kr




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