[THE INVESTOR] The stock price of Lotte Group affiliates plunged on Nov. 29 after the Chinese government decided to exclude Lotte from all tour packages.
As of noon, shares of Lotte Shopping, an operator of Lotte Department Store and Lotte Mart, were trading at 209, 000 won (US$192.93), down 1.87 percent from the previous day. Other related stocks such as Lotte Confectionary, Lotte Chilsung and Lotte Chemical, also took a beating.
China’s National Tourism Administration has announced it will allow offline tourist agencies in Beijing and Shandong province to sell package tours to Korea. The tour packages were banned for eight months due to diplomatic tensions between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of THAAD missile system.
However, the agency excluded Lotte’s hotels, resorts and duty-free stores from their packages. The exclusion is seen as retaliation for providing one of its golf courses as a site for the THAAD deployment.
“The China-related problems are complicated, so it is hard for us to predict what will happen. But we hope that the ban will be lifted gradually after the upcoming Korea-China summit meeting,” a spokesperson told The Investor.
President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to visit Beijing in mid-December.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)