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Business Words in the News
Friday 18 January 2002
Vocabulary from the business news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Hyundai Seeks New Buyers
Korea looks for new Hyundai buyers
Summary: South Korean government officials have opened talks with new bidders for Hyundai Securities, after the US insurance giant American International Group, withdrew from a deal to buy the financially weakened brokerage. This report from Caroline Gluck.
   
The News Listen  
  The South Korean government says it's looking for a new foreign investor in the Hyundai affiliates, following the breakdown of talks with a US consortium, led by the insurance giant American International Group. Under the deal, the US consortium was to have invested more than 850 million dollars in the three Hyundai units, taking management control, with the South Korean government investing around 700 million dollars.

The deal would have marked the biggest foreign investment in the country's troubled financial sector. But negotiations hit a snag last year, when the US side put forward a new demand that the South Korean government guarantee compensation for any undiscovered debt. The government says it cannot accept that demand and is now looking for other potential buyers. It says several international financial institutions have already expressed an interest.

News of the collapse of the talks - though not unexpected - was badly received on the stock market. Shares in Hyundai Securities - the country's second largest brokerage - fell by more than eleven percent in early morning trading. The collapse of the talks is seen as a big setback for the South Korean government. It's been trying to regain foreign investor confidence and restructure its debt-ridden financial and corporate sectors since the Asian financial crisis four years ago.

CAROLINE GLUCK, SEOUL

 
   
The Words Listen
 
  breakdown of talks
the failure or ending of negotiations

 
   
  marked
represented

 
   
  hit a snag
encountered difficulties or problems

 
   
  potential buyers
firms capable of becoming buyers

 
   
  expressed an interest
said that they were interested

 
   
  badly received
not accepted with enthusiasm

 
   
  brokerage
an institution which buys and sells shares, foreign money, or goods for other people

 
   
  setback
an event that delays you or makes your position worse than before

 
   
  debt-ridden
owing large sums of money

 
   
  corporate
owned by or relating to one or more large businesses or companies

 
   
 
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