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CLSA Hosts International 5 City Event on Korean Culture ''The Korea Wave''

From Fad to Phenomenon, Asia's Coolest Country Drives up Domestic Consumer Confidence

LONDON and SEOUL, South Korea, July 12 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Asia's leading brokerage house CLSA is hosting a 5-city international event starting today which showcases its new report CLSA's Korea Wave, a look at the explosion of Korean cultural exports in the past five years across Asia. The report has been written to help investors understand the impact of this cultural phenomenon and the investment opportunities within Korea and the region.

In this special report, CLSA's Korea Wave, expects the trends stemming from Korean entertainment cultural -- from TV dramas to action movies to hip hop boy bands and innovative online games -- to pose a tipping point in turning around a sustained period of low domestic confidence over the next three to five years.

While CLSA's Korea Wave provisions that the direct economic impact of the music, movies and melodramas that make up this phenomenon may be small relative to the Korean players, the collateral effects of Korea Wave champions and spokespeople are critically influential in spreading the image of Korea and its products. Of recent years, the Korean Wave has boosted tourism, increased interest in the country and granted Korean consumer-product manufacturers a catchy Korea-based platform from which to promote their products.

James Paterson, Head of CLSA's No.1-ranked Korea research team, said, ''The rising success of Korean cultural exports -- combined with the advance of domestic powerhouses like Samsung, Hyundai and LG -- will have two main impacts in Korea. First, it will bolster direct investment and capital expenditure. Second, the accelerated development of a domestic equity culture will drive a continued market rerating.''

He continued, ''This proliferation of interest in Korea could potentially have an effect on the spending habits of Asian households with Korea's hi-tech consumer products and brands."

Kicking off today in London, the CLSA's Korea Wave event will be held over the next 10 days in other cities New York, Boston, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Korean-inspired evening features three guest speakers: Martin Roll, author of ''Asian Brand Strategy'' and CEO of strategic branding advisory firm VentureRepublic; Jonathan Kim, Chairman of the Korean Motion Pictures Producers Association and President of Hanmac Films; and Max Minsuk Yang, CEO of YG Entertainment, Korea's largest and most influential music producer in the hip-hop and R&B genre.

''The Wave is sparking confidence in Korea and boosting Korean brands around the world. As the Wave continues to proliferate, the positive implications for corporate Korea will be sizeable,'' said David Cotterchio, CLSA's Korea Country Head.

About CLSA Asia -- Pacific Markets

CLSA is an award-winning brokerage, capital markets and private equity group in the Asia-Pacific Markets. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Hong Kong, CLSA is a unit of France's Credit Agricole, which merged in 2003 with Credit Lyonnais, to form the 2nd largest bank in the world by Tier One capital and the 4th largest bank in the world by assets. CLSA is 35% owned by CLSA management and staff.

CLSA has over 800 dedicated professionals spread across all Asian and international financial centres. Recognised as one of the top research, sales, and execution houses in Asia, CLSA is known for its innovative and independent research. In 2003, CLSA expanded its brand to Japan, offering Japanese equity research and sales services to international investors.

CLSA was voted the No.1 Asian Equity Brokerage House and the Most Independent Research Brokerage House in Asia by Asiamoney's Brokers Poll 2004. In 2004 and 2005, CLSA was ranked No.2 in Asia by Institutional Investor.

CLSA Korea was ranked No.1 by Asiamoney's Brokers Poll 2004 for Best Country Research, Best Overall Sales Service, Best Execution and Best Overall Sales Trading.

Additional information is available at www.clsa.com .

For further information, please contact:

Grace Hung
CLSA Asia -- Pacific Markets
Tel: +852-2600-8318
Fax: +852-2530-0827
Email: grace.hung@clsa.com

Source: CLSA Asia

CONTACT: Grace Hung of CLSA Asia, +852-2600-8318, or fax,
+852-2530-0827, or grace.hung@clsa.com

Web site: http://www.clsa.com/

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