Korean companies exposed to foreign exchange losses

Korean companies face foreign exchange losses as the Russian government and their Russian business partners would pay their debts in roubles.

The Russian government announced that it and Russian companies would repay their ruble debts to certain states. On the morning of March 8, the USD-RUB exchange rate was around 150 rubles per US dollar, compared to 70-80 before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Under these circumstances, many South Korean companies face the risk of financial loss. Examples include major shipbuilders, namely Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries and Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, whose current contracts in relation to Russia are worth around eight trillion won. What happens is also a serious risk for those who hold Russian government bonds.

“The value of the Russian currency is likely to continue to decline and the possibility of a default increases,” the Ministry of Economy and Finance explained, adding, “South Korea’s exposure to to Russia is very limited because its holdings of Russian bonds are very small”. .”

The ministry held a meeting with the private sector on March 8, predicting the impact of Russia’s designation of South Korea as a hostile state. Those in the private sector called for protection against foreign exchange losses. In addition, they had discussions on the possibility of additional export restrictions imposed by Russia.