PRESS DIGEST - South Korean newspapers - Mar 11

SEOUL Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:35pm EST

SEOUL Mar 11 (Reuters) - The following is a summary of major South Korean newspapers on Friday prepared by Reuters in Seoul. Reuters has not checked the stories and does not guarantee their accuracy.


- Major South Korean shipping firms including Hyundai Merchant Marine (011200.KS) and Hanjin Shipping (117930.KS) face high fuel costs and a drop in freight charges this year, and some are forecast to return to losses in the first quarter after posting record profits last year, according to industry sources.


- Hyundai Steel (004020.KS), which holds a 35 percent share of the domestic rebar market, on Monday increased rebar prices to 895,000 won per tonne from 860,000 won per tonne, according to industry sources.

- The value of domestic construction deals received by South Korean construction firms decreased 20.9 percent in January from a year earlier to 5.78 trillion won ($5.19 billion), according to the Construction Association of Korea.


- Samsung Electronics Co (005930.KS) signed a deal with former BMW design chief Chris Bangle to design new mobile phones and netbooks, according to company sources.

- A South Korean consortium of 19 construction firms and the Korea Rail Network Authority on Wednesday submitted a preliminary proposal to a Mongolian delegation to build a railway in Mongolia that would cost 3.3 trillion won ($2.97 billion), according to builder Lotte Engineering & Construction.

($1=1112.9 Won)

(Reporting by Danbee Moon; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)