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What is the South Korean won (KRW)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

In the latest credit ratings from December 1970,

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

Central Bank Rate

The current central bank interest rate is 3.25%. This is the same as 2011, which was 3.25%.

GDP

In 2010 the total GDP was $1,014,483,158,313 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $20,756. It grew by 6.16% over the previous year.

Unemployment

The latest unemployment rate for 2010 is 3.70%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 116.10.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, and the head of state is President Lee Myung-bak (in an executive role).

Currency Details

The official currency of South Korea is the won. The won historically had been broken down into 100 jeon, but typically the smallest amount that crosses hands presently is 100 won. The currency is pegged against the U.S. dollar. The peg formally stood arbitrarily at 2.16 won to one dollar (February 16 is the birthday of Kim Jong-il) but has recently been brought down in value because it was being exchanged at a far lower rate on the black market.

Moody’s Rating
A1, 14 Apr 2010
S&P Rating
AA-

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

Republic of South Korea is divided into nine provinces and seven metropolitan cities. The government consists of three branches: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. The heads of the executive branch are the President and Prime Minister. The cabinet is the State Council, which is appointed by the President by the Prime Minister’s recommendation. The President is elected by popular vote to a single, five-year term. The President appoints the Prime Minister. The legislature is a unicameral 299-seat National Assembly. Members are elected to four-year terms by popular vote. The judiciary is the Supreme Court to which the President, with the consent of the National Assembly, appoints judges.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State President LEE Myung-bak (since 25 February 2008) Head of Government Prime Minister CHUNG Un-chan (since 30 September 2009) Cabinet State Council appointed by the president on the prime minister’s recommendation Elections president elected by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held 19 December 2007 (next to be held in December 2012); prime minister appointed by president with consent of National Assembly Election Results LEE Myung-bak elected president on 19 December 2007; percent of vote – LEE Myung-bak (GNP) 48.7%; CHUNG Dong-young (UNDP) 26.1%); LEE Hoi-chang (independent) 15.1; others 10.1%

Key Economic Factors

The strength of the South Korean won coupled with a recent pull-back in the price of some of Korea’s key imports, especially oil, has kept imported inflationary pressures at bay. In the first half of 2005, the won strengthened 3% against the greenback and around 7% against the yen; following on from a 15% appreciation against the greenback and a 10% gain against the yen in 2004. Inflation is very well contained in Korea. Since hitting a high of 4.8% in August 2004, inflation has been more or less on a downward trajectory. The reason for the subdued inflation is probably because domestic demand is still not strong enough to cause prices to increase substantially. In fact, there are some concerns that the recovery that we have seen in domestic demand in recent quarters could already be losing some of its momentum.

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