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S.Korea Q3 FDI plans grow at fastest pace since Q4 2004

SEOUL, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Foreigners' pledged investment in South Korea during the third quarter grew at the fastest annual pace in nearly eight years, driven by a surge in investment from Hong Kong and Singapore, government data showed on Thursday.

Pledged foreign direct investment during July-September rose 84.3 percent to $4.093 billion from $2.220 billion in the second quarter of 2011, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.

This was the fastest quarterly growth in foreign investment since the fourth quarter of 2004, government data showed.

A spike in tourism-related investments underpinned the surge in funds from Hong Kong and Singapore, the ministry said.

Between January and September, investments from Hong Kong more than quadrupled from the same period in 2011 and investments from Singapore rose by 70.8 percent from a year earlier. The ministry did not provide quarterly breakdowns for these countries.

Investment from Japan grew an annual 23.2 percent to $667 million during the third quarter, after more than tripling in the second quarter.

Recent diplomatic tensions over a territorial dispute between the two countries haven't affected Japanese firms' investment in South Korea, a ministry official said.

(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by John Mair)

((vincentsy.lee@thomsonreuters.com)(+822 3704 5646)(Reuters Messaging: vincentsy.lee.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: KOREA ECONOMY/FDI