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When the Korean government changed its discouraging stance on credit cards, the industry boomed.

Credit cards are a good business in most countries, but in Korea, the recent growth has been stratospheric. And that has opened the sector up to interest from foreign buyers.

Until recently, credit cards were a fairly dull business in Korea. The government actively discouraged their use because it rightly concluded they led to consumption and wrongly concluded that this was bad for the economy.

It pursued this policy so vigorously that if anyone spent more than $3,000 on their credit card while travelling, they faced a tax audit when they returned to Korea.

This distaste for credit cards changed when the government realized it was going to need a lot of money to...

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