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Seoul shares cool after big recent gains; Samsung Elec off highs
* Kangwon Land rallies 13 pct on plans on more gambling tables
* Ahnlab plunges as major shareholder drops presidential bid
SEOUL Nov 26 (Reuters) - South Korean shares, which surged 14 percent last week, cooled off on Monday due to profit-taking and lingering worries about fiscal woes in the U.S. and Greece.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked down 0.15 percent to close at 1,908.51 points. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd dropped 2.3 percent from Friday's record high close.
Asian markets broadly, though, were higher on hopes that euro zone ministers would be able to strike a deal to disburse aid to Greece.
Seoul's underperformance on Monday follows a week in which it far outpaced Asian peers. The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 2.8 pct during a week in which expectations for Samsung sales and hopes for the U.S. economy made the Korean market buoyant.
On Monday, the main board "largely treaded water as it came off short-term gains, and investors were reticent to build large positions due to political uncertainties surrounding upcoming negotiations for the U.S. fiscal cliff and Greece's debt crisis," said Lim Dong-rak, an analyst at Hanyang Securities.
Greece's international creditors will hold crunch talks later on Monday - their third meeting in three weeks - to unlock loans needed to avert bankruptcy for the stricken nation.
Korean blue-chips were mixed. While Samsung Electronics fell, Hyundai Motor Co gained 0.2 percent. Through Friday, it had fallen 14 percent since the end of September.
Shares in Kangwon Land Inc advanced 13.3 percent after the casino operator said in a regulatory filing late Friday it will increase its gambling tables and machines from 1,092 to 1,560.
"Current consensus predicts the company's net profits will increase 30 to 40 percent on-year once the new tables and machines are in place," said Min Young-sang, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities."
But shares in computer antivirus program developer Ahnlab Inc plunged 15 percent after its largest shareholder Ahn Cheol-soo gave up his bid to become president late Friday.
Local retail investors sold a net 94.4 billion won ($86.90 million) worth of KOSPI shares, weighing on the main board. Gainers nearly matched decliners 403 to 390.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks closed down 0.3 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.5 percent lower.
Move on day 0.15 percent
12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012
12-month low 1,750.60 19 Dec 2011
Change on yr +4.5 percent
All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011
All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981 ($1 = 1086.2500 Korean won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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