While the world waits to learn what impact the collapse of Japan’s finance house Yamaichi Securities will have on its stock markets at a time when much of the Asia/Pacific’s economy has already been hit by a currency crisis, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has optimistically injected $50m into its Brazilian electronics unit, Daewoo […]
While the world waits to learn what impact the collapse of Japan’s finance house Yamaichi Securities will have on its stock markets at a time when much of the Asia/Pacific’s economy has already been hit by a currency crisis, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has optimistically injected $50m into its Brazilian electronics unit, Daewoo Corp is going ahead with investment plans in Morocco, and market researcher Dataquest Inc says personal computer shipments in the region are up 18% on last year. Samsung Eletronica da Amazonia Ltd received the cash from its parent last week, which it will use to revamp existing television and video recorder production lines and also to start output of computer monitors and cellular phones, it said. The injection comes even as forecasters predict a recession in Brazil as a result of the impact of the Southeast Asia crisis. The company seems to be making a point of showing it has not changed course or strategy and is not overly worried by the current state of the South Korean economy. Fellow South Korean giant Daewoo Corp is also going ahead with planned investments, and confirmed it will continue to invest $1bn in Morocco over the next five years. Last month, the company signed a deal under which it will spend $500m to set up a car plant, and a television and tube plant in Casablanca, and a further $60m to refurbish the Hilton hotel in Rabat, which it bought earlier in the year for $28m. Chairman Kim Woo-Choong said confidently that the Asian market crisis will not affect us like some others. Dataquest, owned by industry analyst the Gartner Group Inc, says despite the currency meltdown in the Asia/Pacific region and the on-going economic slump in the Korean market, shipments of personal computers in the third quarter of 1997 reached 2.2m, up 18% on last year. However, it said these figures were boosted by demand in China, whose economy has remained strong and largely undisturbed by the currency crisis. Other countries also had a positive quarter though, with growth in Taiwan up 36%, Singapore 26%, Hong Kong 16% and Australia 10%. Worst hit were the Indonesian and Thai markets. Japan’s Yamaichi crisis has yet to have the major impact most people are expecting from it, but the world’s markets await nervously. In the meantime, the pessimists – or are they realists? – simply sit and wait for the Year 2000 crash, from which the emerging Asia/Pacific markets just might emerge less scathed than most, since their IT and communications infrastructure is relatively new.