Investing In... South Korea
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South Korea’s 10 Biggest Companies

Market cap: $32.6 billionPE: 9.1POSCO is the world’s fourth biggest steelmaker and backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett.The company was founded in 1968 as a joint venture between the South Korean government and tools manufacturer TaeguTec. It has since gone on to produce over 33 million tons of steel today and has expanded internationally with a joint venture with U.S. Steel called USS-POSCO in California. This year the company also expects to break ground on its planned $12 billion ste

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3. POSCO

Market cap: $32.6 billion
P/E: 9.1

POSCO is the world’s fourth-biggest steelmaker, and backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

The company was founded in 1968 as a joint venture between the South Korean government and tools manufacturer TaeguTec. It has since gone on to produce over 33 million tons of steel and has a joint venture with U.S. Steel called USS-POSCO in California.

This year the company expects to break ground on a $12-billion steel mill project in India’s eastern Orissa state.

POSCO has, however, like other global steelmakers been hit hard by slowing demand, lower product prices and higher raw-material costs. It posted a whopping 54 percent drop in first quarter profit this year of $370.78 million. A senior POSCO executive recently said in that he expects earnings to deteriorate further in the second half of the year.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns around 5 percent of POSCO shares. The company’s stock is down 20.5 percent in the 12 months to July 10. But 27 out of 45 analysts polled by Reuters still think the stock will outperform; 14 consider it a buy.

Photo: Park Ji-Hwan | AFP | Getty Images