ROK expects huge economic boost from Winter Games

Updated: 2011-07-08 17:25


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ROK expects huge economic boost from Winter Games

South Koreans look around at a ski jump stadium for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, about 180 km (112 miles) east of Seoul, July 7, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea - Shares in South Korean casino and resort operators and construction firms spiked on Thursday, buoyed by expectations that Pyeongchang's hosting of the 2018 Winter Olympics could pump tens of billions of dollars into the economy.

At an International Olympic Committee meeting, South Korea won the right to host the contest at the third attempt, capping a decade-long campaign to bring winter sports to this rustic town, and sparking all-night celebrations.

A study by the Hyundai Research Institute has said hosting the 2018 Games will inject 65 trillion won ($61 billion) into Asia's fourth largest economy through investment, spending, and spin-off consumption.

On the Seoul stock exchange, Seunghwa Premium Construction Co surged to its daily limit of 15 percent on expectations the builder might be involving in the construction of a highway to Pyeongchang.

Hyundai Cement, which owns a resort in Gangwon Province, home to Pyeongchang, also surged 15 percent, while shares in casino operator Kangwon Land jumped as much as 9.5 percent.

The winning bid was a coup for Korea Inc. as major conglomerates threw their support behind the bid, which was headed by Cho Yang-ho, chairman of flag carrier Korean Air Lines. Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee is the country's sole IOC member.

Japan is the only Asian country to host a Winter Olympics - in Sapporo in 1972 and Nagano in 1998.

Pyeongchang ran under the slogan "New Horizons", arguing Asia's stellar economic growth in recent decades and the continent's massive population offered an untapped market for winter sports.

ROK expects huge economic boost from Winter Games

Housing facilities at the Yongpyong Ski Resort are seen in the mountains of Pyeongchang, about 180 km (112 miles) east of Seoul July 7, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

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