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S. Korean firms, industries threatened by COVID-19 outbreak Updated: 2020-02-24 16:05:42 KST

The coronavirus is disrupting South Korean firms.
Even the biggest companies in South Korea are being affected, as cases of the virus emerge among their employees.
Samsung had to shut down a smartphone plant in Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province for three days, after an employee there was confirmed of the virus on Saturday.
One employee from Hyundai Steel's plant in the southeastern coastal city of Pohang has also been confirmed to have the virus on Sunday, forcing the company to temporarily shut down part of the office building the employee works in.

Meanwhile, South Korea's travel industry has taken an especially big blow.
The sector has seen new bookings fall by a whopping 80 to 90 percent this month.
Travel agencies say the situation is almost as bad as the IMF crisis.
Korea's three largest travel agencies are all going into emergency operating procedures.
Hana Tour, South Korea's largest travel agency said it'll begin implementing a three-day workweek for two months starting in March, with employees taking a 20 percent pay cut.
The second largest agency, Mode Tour is offering paid leave for up to two months, with a maximum of 70 percent of usual pay starting next month.
The shipping industry has been disrupted as well.

"Along with the tourism industry, the shipping industry is also suffering, because the exchange of goods and parts with China has not been smooth recently."

The drop in demand for aviation and shipping fuel, along with lower oil exports to China, has hurt oil refiners and chemical firms.
South Korea's biggest oil refiner, SK innovation lowered its first quarter operating profit forecast to 71 percent of what it had forecast a month earlier.
South Korea's third-largest refiner, S-Oil also saw its forecast fall to around 82 percent of last month's forecast.
Experts say with recent surge in confirmed coronavirus cases raising uncertainties, more companies may see further damage.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.
Reporter : jhee@arirang.com
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