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The Republic of Korea's Market Becomes Emerging Power
Oct 10, 2005
Markets in the Republic of Korea approached or surpassed the previous highs in recent years, along with a several other Asian markets.
China still carries the spotlight, but it has been reported that the Republic of Korea, Singapore and India's markets reached their best levels since the economic crisis of the late 1990s. The nations overcame the obstacles by gaining big for the mutual funds specializing in Asian stocks.
According to Morningstar, the average fund investing in Asia rose 30.4 percent during the past year until September 2005, which excludes Japan . Some managers of Asia did question Asia's ability to keep up or the downshifting to stocks in industries less susceptible to economic wings, but some still expressed interest in the growing power.
Most agree that China was the central power that led the other Asian countries to the rise, given its cheap labor and huge manufacturing capacity.
"As China has grown, it has brought up the rest of the region with it," said Edmund Harriss, manager of the Guinness Atkinson Asia Focus Fund.
But not all experts agree with this point of view. The rest of the region surrounding China has given China a boost by furnishing money and expertise, said Mark Headley, president of Matthews International Capital Management, a firm specializing in Asia.
"It's the Taiwanese that built most of China's manufacturing, and now the Koreans are there in a big way," he said.
Improvement in Asians' living standards contributed to the balance of the economies and also changed the investor's buying habits.
As many are concerned, Asia's emerging market may be underweight compared to other stable markets, but many experts admit it's on the rise.
By Chi-hyun Cho
(Source: International Herald Tribune)