A second Korean financial crisis?

Doom-sayers are predicting a return to the bad old days in Korea - but, says Desmond Supple of Barclays Capital, the upswing is not over yet.

Korea sparks extremes of sentiment. Until recently the country was viewed as a paragon of reform and liberalization. One dive in the local stockmarket and doom-mongering has surfaced. There are fears the country has been upgraded too fast, has been sluggish on reform and is on the cusp of a renewed financial crisis. As ever, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. We believe the current travails in the local asset markets are tractable, albeit at the expense of a weaker won over the coming weeks.

Of course, while the market has started to draw more parallels with the financial crisis of 1997-1998, current problems do not have the same external dimension. In...

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