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South Korea’s ‘Jeonse’ Rent-Free Renters Hit By Property Downturn

SEOUL, Feb 21 (Reuters) – A downturn in South Korea’s home prices is causing pain in the country’s unusual rent-free rental system that benefited landlords and tenants alike during a long surge in residential property prices.

In the “jeonse” scheme, tenants put up a deposit typically worth as much as 70% of the home’s value, then live without paying rent for two years until the landlord returns the full amount.

This was a win-win for residents and owners for years as home prices rose and interest rates were high: the loan tenants paid to raise their deposit was cheaper than rent and landlords got an interest-free loan to deploy as they pleased.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Microsoft’s President To Push Activision Deal At EU Hearing; Google, Nvidia Also Present

BRUSSELS, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Microsoft (MSFT.O) President Brad Smith will on Tuesday seek to convince EU antitrust regulators at a closed hearing that the U.S. software giant’s $69 billion bid for “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) will boost competition.

Smith will lead a delegation of 18 senior executives, including Microsoft Gaming Chief Executive Officer Phil Spencer, while Activision will be represented by its CEO Robert Kotick according to a European Commission document seen by Reuters.

Full coverage: REUTERS

BHP Eyes Demand Green Shoots In China As Profit Slumps

Feb 21 (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Group (BHP.AX) reported a steeper-than-expected 32% fall in first-half profit owing to a drop in iron ore prices, sending its shares down, although it flagged a brightening outlook in China, its biggest customer.

China’s strict zero-COVID-19 policy curtailed economic activity and dented demand over the past year, driving iron ore prices down from lofty levels, while miners wrestled with surging costs and a tight labour market in Australia.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Dollar Hovers At Six-Week Highs Ahead Of Data Blast

LONDON/SINGAPORE, Feb 21 (Reuters) – The dollar hovered around its highest in six weeks, ahead of data this week that could offer direction on future interest rates, while the euro weakened in the run-up to monthly business activity figures.

Strong U.S. labour data and sticky inflation have raised U.S. rate expectations and supported the dollar’s rally this month – Tuesday’s European and U.S. manufacturing data and Friday’s core PCE price index will guide the next steps.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Asian Shares Slip, Dollar Rally On Hold As Fed Cues Eyed

SINGAPORE, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Asian stocks slid on Tuesday as the prospect of the U.S. central bank having to stay on its hawkish path weighed on sentiment, with investors looking to the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting for further monetary policy clues.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) slipped 0.7% to 529.97, hovering around six-week lows of 529.30 touched last week.

The index is down nearly 3% this month, after jumping 8.6% in January, as a slew of robust U.S. economic data reinforced fears that interest rates may need to rise further and stay higher for longer.

Full coverage: REUTERS

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Industry Dynamics

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