Daewoo considers listing

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Daewoo, the huge South Korean corporation that was rumoured to be planning to build cars in the UK, is considering a listing on the London Stock Exchange.

The company, which says it is the world's 43rd- largest industrial group, said this weekend that it hoped to obtain a listing within three months.

Daewoo's wide range of interests include securities investment and aircraft and ship manufacturing.

An official of Daewoo Securities was reported as saying that the group would issue $70m worth of global depositary receiptes to help finance its overseas investment.

"We asked the London exchange to review Daewoo's qualifiaction to obtain its listing. We hope to list the receipts in the first quarter," he said.

Pohang Iron and Steel, South Korea's largest steelmaker, has already said it plans to list on the London and Hong Kong exchanges early in 1995. The company was the first in South Korea to list on the New York exchange.

Last year Daewoo announced it was entering the UK car market with plans to up set up 30 retail superstores in a £150m move to sidestep the traditional distribution market and sell direct to the consumer. The move was accompanied by a massive advertising campaign that billed Daewoo as "the biggest car company you have never heard of."

Like its Korean rival Hyundai, Daewoo is looking to increase its share of the fast-growing European market. Many European countries restrict Far Eastern imports, though the market should become fully liberalised in 1999.

Daewoo has invested in an engine plant in Romania, though it has been speculated that the company is looking to set up a car making plant in the UK to produce around 100,000 cars a year. Daewoo says this is untrue.