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Korean shares down, led by Samsung Electronics

South Korean shares traded lower late Friday morning, weighed by Samsung affiliates after Samsung Electronics said it will be difficult to adopt a holding company structure at present.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 7.54 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,165.18 as of 11:20 a.m.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun told shareholders earlier in the day that the company could delay a plan to adopt a holding company structure for the time being.

US hedge fund Elliott Management has urged Samsung Electronics to split the electronics giant into a holding and operating company to improve transparency and shareholder returns. 

Large caps traded mixed with market kingpin Samsung Electronics falling 1.24 percent, while global chipmaker SK hynix up 2.58 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor remained flat, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors traded 0.4 percent higher.

POSCO, the No. 1 steelmaker, fell 1.6 percent.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, rose 0.69 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,123.80 won against the US dollar, down 1.4 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

Korea Herald daum