It is interesting that companies in South Korea that are linked to South Korean political leftists have seen their stocks fall since the lefts defeat in parliamentary elections earlier this month:
Lee Hyun-chang rushed to sell all his shares in drug maker Wooridul Pharmaceutical after South Korea’s ruling conservative party scored an upset win in last week’s parliamentary elections. The college student was part of a stampede that sent the stock plunging 15 percent.
To anyone outside a subset of South Korea’s amateur stock trading scene, the link between the obscure pharmaceutical company and South Korea’s political elite would be mysterious. But it was simple for the 25-year-old Lee. He’s convinced Wooridul is allied with opposition politicians and would only prosper if South Koreans elect their candidate president in December elections.
Lee’s tenuous evidence: the opposition’s presidential hopeful had once been the chief of staff to a former South Korean president who underwent surgery at Wooridul Spine Hospital, a sister company to Wooridul Pharmaceutical. According to stock traders’ lore, that president, the late Roh Moo-hyun, was also once a lawyer for the hospital in the 1990s.
For Lee, selling Wooridul shares was a no-brainer. The opposition’s poor showing in the parliamentary elections suggested its candidate would also face defeat in the presidential poll. There would be no political favors for Wooridul.
Speculating on the outcome of elections is nothing new for investors but in South Korea it is a window into a society that can seem opaque to the West. The high importance placed on personal ties and kinship is reflected in the conspiracy-level convictions of Lee and others that rest on vague connections. And even as their theories seem far-fetched, they’re also a nod to the deep links between politicians and business. [Seattle PI]
You can read the rest at the link.