South Korea


Korea, South Country Report: GDP data and GDP forecasts; economic, financial and trade information; the best banks in Korea, South; country and population overview

DATA ON GDP AND ECONOMIC INFORMATION
Central bank Bank of Korea
International Reserves US$ 306.935 billion (Source: IMF; Data updated: 2012)
Gross Domestic Product - GDP US$ 1.164 trillion (2010 estimate)
GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) 1.63 trillion of International dollars (2010 estimate)
Real GDP growth
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
4% 7.2% 2.8% 4.6% 4% 5.2% 5.1% 2.3%
2009 2010 2011 2012*
0.3% 6.3% 3.6% 3.5%

*Estimate

GDP per capita - current prices US$ 23,680 (2010 estimate)
GDP per capita - PPP $33,172 International Dollars (2010 estimate)
GDP (PPP) - share of world total
1980 1990 2000 2010 2015**
0.77% 1.43% 1.84% 1.97% 1.96%

**Forecast

GDP - composition by sector
  • agriculture: 3% 
  • industry: 39.4% 
  • services: 57.6% (2008 estimate)
  • (Data released on February 2012)

Gross domestic expenditure on R&D (% of GDP) 3.74% (2010)

(Data released on March 2012)

Inflation
2009 2010 2011 2012*
2.8%(2008) 2.9% 4% 3.4%

*Estimate

Unemployment rate
2009 2010 2011 2012*
3.7% 3.7% 3.4%(2009) 3.3%

*Estimate

Household saving rates 3.8% (Net saving; 2012 forecast)

(Data released on December 2011)

Public debt (General government gross debt as a % of GDP)
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012*
30.1% 33.8% 33.4% 34.1% 32.9%

*Estimate

Public deficit (General government net lending/borrowing as a % of GDP)
2008 2009 2010 2011* 2012**
1.6% 0% 1.7% 2.3% 2.4%

*Estimate    **Forecast

Government bond ratings

Standard & Poor's: A+

Moody's rating: Aa3

Moody's outlook: STA

(Foreign Currency Government Bond Ratings; Data last updated Dec 2011 and Nov 2012)

Market value of publicly traded shares
2009 2010 2011
US$836.5 billion US$1.089 trillion US$994.3 billion
Largest companies in Korea, South Korean Air (Airline), Hyundai Motor (Auto & Truck Manufacturers),Kia Motors (Auto & Truck Manufacturers), Hyundai Mobis (Auto & Truck Parts), Hankook Tire (Biotechs), NHN (Computer Services), Hyundai Engineering (Construction Service), Samsung Engineering (Construction Service), GS Engineering (Construction Service), Daelim Industrial (Construction Service), Kumho Industrial (Construction Service), LG Electronics (Consumer Electronics), Hana Financial Group (Consumer Financial Services), Samsung Card (Consumer Financial Services), DGB Financial Group (Consumer Financial Services), Lotte Shopping (Department Stores), E-mart (Discount Stores), OCI Co (Diversified Chemicals), Kumho Petro Chemical (Diversified Chemicals), Hanwha Chemical (Diversified Chemicals), Korea Zinc (Diversified Metals & Mining), Hyosung (Diversified Metals & Mining), Korea Electric Power (Electric Utilities), LS Corp (Electrical Equipment), LG Display (Electronics), Samsung Electro-Mechanics (Electronics), CJ (Food Processing), Hyundai Heavy Industries (Heavy Equipment), Samsung Heavy Industries (Heavy Equipment), DSME (Heavy Equipment), STX Corp (Heavy Equipment), Doosan Heavy Industries (Heavy Equipment), STX Offshore (Heavy Equipment), LG Corp (Household Appliance), Shinhan Financial (Investment services), KB Financial Group (Investment services), Woori Finance Holdings (Investment services), Posco (Iron & Steel), Hyundai Steel (Iron & Steel), Samsung Life Insurance (Life & Health Insurance), Korea Life Insurance (Life & Health Insurance), Korea Exchange Bank (Major Banks), Korea Gas (Natural Gas Utilities), SK Innovation (Oil & Gas Operations), SK Holdings (Oil & Gas Operations), S-Oil (Oil & Gas Operations), GS Holdings (Oil & Gas Operations), Doosan Infracore (Other Industrial Equipment), Hyundai Glovis (Other Transportation), Hanjin Shipping (Other Transportation), Hanjin Shipping Holdings (Other Transportation), Dongbu Insurance (Property & Casualty Insurance), Hyundai Marine & Fire (Property & Casualty Insurance), Samsung Fire & Marine (Real Estate), LIG Insurance (Real Estate), Industrial Bank of Korea (Regional Banks), Samsung Electronics (Semiconductors), Hynix Semiconductor (Semiconductors), LG Chem (Specialized Chemicals), SK Telecom (Telecommunications Services), KT (Telecommunications Services), Honam Petrochemical (Telecommunications Services), LG Uplus (Telecommunications services), KT&G (Tobacco), Samsung C&T (Trading Companies), SK Networks (Trading Companies), Hanwha Corp (Trading Companies), LG International (Trading Companies) (2012)
DATA ON TRADE AND COMPETITIVENESS
Current account balance US$ 22.2 billion (2011 estimate)(After 2008)
Current account balance by percentage of GDP 1.9% of GDP (2010 estimate)(2009)
Exports as percent of GDP

(Exports of goods and services)

52.4% (2010)

(Data released on April 2012)

Shares in world total merchandising export 3.04%(2007)

(Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2011)

Shares in world total commercial services export 2.25% (2011)(2007)

(Data were released in 2012)

Total exports US$552.6 billion (2012 estimate) 
Export commodities semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, computers, steel, ships, petrochemicals
Total imports US$514.2 billion (2012 estimate) 
Import commodities machinery, electronics and electronic equipment, oil, steel, transport equipment, organic chemicals, plastics
Exports - major partners China 24.4%, US 10.1%, Japan 7.1% (2011 estimate)
Imports - major partners China 16.5%, Japan 13%, US 8.5%, Saudi Arabia 7.1%, Australia 5% (2011 estimate)
FDI inflows
2009 2010 2011
US$7,501 million US$8,511 million(2009) US$4,661 million(2009)
FDI outflows
2009 2010 2011
US$17,197 million US$23,278 million US$20,355 million
Value of cross-border M&A, by country of purchaser
2008 2009 2010 2011
US$3,882 million US$6,951 million(2009) US$9,949 million(2009) US$4,109 million
Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2010

(Acquiring company, Acquired company, Country of the acquired company, Value of the deal)

N/A

(for a monthly update on M&A click here )

Cross-border M&A deals worth over $3 billion completed in 2011

(Acquiring company, Acquired company, Country of the acquired company, Value of the deal)

N/A(2008 estimate)

(for a monthly update on M&A click here )

Best countries for doing business

World Bank/IFC Doing Business Project

(Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1 - 185. A high ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.)

Overall ranking: 8 out of 185 countries(2009) (2013)

Subcategories:

Starting a business: 24 out of 185 countries(2009)

Enforcing Contracts: 2 out of 185 countries

Registering Property: 75 out of 185 countries

Getting credit: 12 out of 185 countries

Protecting investors: 49 out of 185 countries

Trading across border: 3 out of 185 countries

Paying Taxes: 30 out of 185 countries

Dealing with Construction Permits: 26 out of 185 countries

Getting Electricity: 3 out of 185 countries

Resolving Insolvency: 14 out of 185 countries

(2013)

Global competitiveness ranking
(ranking by country on a basis of 144, the first is the best)
19

(2012)

Index of Economic Freedom

WSJ and Heritage Foundation

Ranking: 31 Score: 69.9 (Moderately Free) (2009)

(100=totally free 0=totally repressed )

COUNTRY AND POPULATION OVERVIEW
Time zone UTC+9
Total area 99,678 km2 (2006)
Capital Seoul (2009)
Currency South Korean won (KRW) (2009)
Government type republic (2009)
Languages Korean, English widely taught in junior high and high school
Religions Christian 26.3% (Protestant 19.7%, Roman Catholic 6.6%), Buddhist 23.2%, other or unknown 1.3%, none 49.3% (1995 census)
Total population
1980 1990 2000 2012* 2017**
38.12 million 42.87 million 47.01 million 50.01 million 51.18 million

*Estimate    **Forecast

Urban population as % of total population
1960 1980 2000 2011
27.7% 56.7% 79.6% 83.2%
Population median age 38 years (2010)
Population growth rate 0.7% (2011)
Life expectancy 81 years (2010)
Adult literacy N/A
% of population living on less than $2 a day N/A
Inequality of wealth distribution (Gini index)

31.59 (1998)

(Data were released in 2011, 0=perfect equality, 100=absolute inequality)

Freedom House rating

Political Rights:1
Civil Liberties:2 (2011)

(1 represents the most free, 7 the least free)

Total telephone subscribers as % of population

169.4% (2011)

(sum of fixed telephone lines and mobile cellular subscribers)

Internet users as % of total population 83.8% (Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2011)
Cost of living - Mercer index

(ranking by city on a basis of 214; the 1st is the most expensive and the 214th is the least expensive)

Seoul: 19th (2011)

CO2 emissions
(Metric tons of CO2 per capita)

10.62 (Data were released in 2012 and refer to 2009)

GLOBAL FINANCE RANKINGS AND AWARDS

WORLD'S SAFEST EMERGING MARKETS BANKS

2012:
  • OVERALL SAFEST Suhyup Bank (Global, 2012)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Industrial Bank of Korea (Asia, 2012)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Korea Finance Corporation (Global, 2012)
  • OVERALL SAFEST KB Kookmin Bank (Global, 2012)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Shinhan Bank (Global, 2012)
  • OVERALL SAFEST NongHyup Bank (Global, 2012)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Woori Bank (Global, 2012)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Korea Exchange Bank (Global, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Industrial Bank of Korea (Global, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Korea Finance Corporation (National, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS KB Kookmin Bank (National, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Shinhan Bank (National, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS NongHyup Bank (National, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Hana Bank (National, 2012)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Hana Bank (National, 2012)

WORLD'S BEST TRADE FINANCE BANKS & PROVIDERS

2013:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Korea Exchange Bank (National, 2013)
2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Kookmin Bank (KB) (Global, 2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Korea Exchange Bank (Global, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Korea Exchange Bank (Gulf Cooperation Council, 2010)
2009:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Korea Exchange Bank (Asia, 2009)

WORLD'S BEST INTERNET BANKS

2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Corporate / Institutional Internet Banks Citi (Asia, 2012)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Consumer Internet Banks Citi (Asia, 2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Consumer Internet Banks Citi (Global, 2011)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Corporate / Institutional Internet Banks Citi (Global, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Consumer Internet Banks Citi (National, 2010)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Corporate / Institutional Internet Banks Citi (National, 2010)
2009:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Consumer Internet Banks Shinhan Bank (Asia, 2009)
  • COUNTRY WINNERS / Best Corporate / Institutional Internet Banks Citi (Asia, 2009)

WORLD'S SAFEST BANKS

2013:
  • OVERALL SAFEST Korea Finance Corp (Global, 2013)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Industrial Bank of Korea (Global, 2013)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Korea Finance Corp (Asia, 2013)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Industrial Bank of Korea (Asia, 2013)
2012:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Industrial Bank of Korea (Global, 2012)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Korea Finance Corp (Global, 2012)
2011:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Korea Finance Corporation (Global, 2011)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Industrial Bank of Korea (Middle East, 2011)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Kookmin Bank (Middle East, 2011)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (Global, 2011)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Korea Finance Corporation (National, 2011)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Industrial Bank of Korea (Middle East, 2011)
  • OVERALL SAFEST KB Kookmin Bank (Global, 2011)
  • OVERALL SAFEST National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (Middle East, 2011)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Shinhan Bank (Middle East, 2011)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Woori Bank (National, 2011)
  • OVERALL SAFEST Hana Bank (National, 2011)
2010:
  • REGIONAL WINNERS National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (National, 2010)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Industrial Bank of Korea (Global, 2010)
  • REGIONAL WINNERS Korea Development Bank (Global, 2010)

WORLD'S BEST EMERGING MARKET BANKS

2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Korea Exchange Bank (National, 2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Shinhan Bank (Middle East, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Shinhan Bank (Global, 2010)
2009:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Shinhan Bank (Asia, 2009)

WORLD'S BEST SUB CUSTODIANS

2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS KEB (Global, 2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS KEB (Global, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS HSBC (National, 2010)
2009:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Korea Exchange Bank (Asia, 2009)

WORLD'S BEST INVESTMENT BANKS

2013:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Daewoo Securities (National, 2013)
2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Samsung Securities (Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), 2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Middle East, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Samsung Securities (National, 2010)
2009:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Samsung Securities (National, 2009)

CENTRAL BANKER REPORT CARD

2012:
2011:
2010:
2009:

WORLD'S BIGGEST BANKS

2011:
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Kookmin Bank (Gulf Cooperation Council, 2011)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Woori Bank (Middle East, 2011)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Shinhan Bank (Middle East, 2011)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (National, 2011)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Korea Finance Corporation (National, 2011)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Industrial Bank of Korea (National, 2011)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Hana Bank (National, 2011)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Korea Exchange Bank (National, 2011)
2010:
  • BIGGEST BANKS IN ASIA Shinhan Bank (National, 2010)
  • BIGGEST BANKS IN ASIA Kookmin Bank (Kim Choong Soo, 2010)

TOP 200 EMERGING MARKETS BANKS

2010:
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Shinhan Bank (National, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Kookmin Bank (National, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Woori Bank (National, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Industrial Bank of Korea (National, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Korea Development Bank (National, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Hana Bank (Asia, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Guangdong Development Bank (Asia, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Korea Exchange Bank (Asia, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Standard Chartered First Bank Korea (National, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Citibank Korea (National, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST The Export-Import Bank of Korea (National, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Daegu Bank (Global, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Busan Bank (Global, 2010)
  • OVERALL BIGGEST Kyongnam Bank (Global, 2010)

WORLD'S BEST FOREIGN EXCHANGE PROVIDERS

2013:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS KEB (National, 2013)
2012:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS KEB (Global, 2012)
2011:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS KEB (Global, 2011)
2010:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS KEB (National, 2010)
2009:
  • COUNTRY WINNERS Korea Exchange Bank (Asia, 2009)
ARTICLES AND COUNTRIES REPORTS FROM GLOBAL FINANCE ARCHIVE