Chapter 49: Chapter 49. Competition For Duty-free Shops
I looked out of the window. Even in broad daylight, countless people moved around along the Han River, such as bike riders and badminton players. I watched them for a moment with the strawberry jam in my mouth.
‘Life is good for a jobless person.’
Recently, an exhibition event was held in Gangnam. It was an exhibition with a very explicit title, “I want to be a jobless person”, and it was quite popular. Everyone had that kind of desire, so it was popular. Now, I was realizing that desire myself. Becoming a rich jobless person, I hung out at a cafe along the Han River in broad daylight. Of course, it didn’t mean that I did not do anything.
I took my second cell phone out of my bag, then turned on the power. I had turned off the power inside the room for fear that there might be some strange device such as location tracking or voice recording. I sealed the camera with black tape. For communication, I used only public Wi-Fi in public places. I thought I was being a little too sensitive, but I had to do this with millions of dollars coming and going.
– By the way, what do you think of Jinyoung Pharmaceutical’s new drug?
– Dr. Roger Williams in San Francisco is the main presenter, but I can’t find any news searching about it.
I thought of People Search for a moment, but there were two problems here. First, I could only search for names in Korean in People Search. Second, San Francisco was on the opposite side of the Earth. It was questionable whether the news of 12 Hours After would be in time. I should have taken a skill point to receive an article in the afternoon, but I did not. In addition, I could not access foreign newspapers now.
Jin Sun-saeng English
– Dr. J., are you going to skip this one? The stock price is going up.
– Right now it’s going up with the expectation, but I can throw it up later. In fact, although positive news comes out, it takes some time to actually have a good result. It takes years.
– These days, the bio-stocks look dangerous with bubbles. Be careful.
The second topic, Jinyoung Pharmaceutical, was talkative. There were many doctors at the meeting, but they had different opinions and assessments.
‘I’m going to skip this one.’
I decided to leave Jinyoung Pharmaceutical.
There was a reason why Cao Cao, who was a villainous hero of old, lost at the Battle of Red Cliffs. They could say that the defeat was caused by many things, like being struck by the fire attack, with a sudden southeast wind blowing. But really, it was because they fought on the ships they were not familiar with in the first place.
‘There are many doctors here. I know whether it’s fun or not watching the movie, but bio-stocks are hard for me to touch… I don’t have to go in. Cao Cao had to attack Sun Wu to unify a whole country, but I don’t have to. If the battlefield opens at a disadvantage, all I have to do is not to fight. The stock market opens every day, and I buy other stocks.
‘How about the bidding for duty-free shops?’
– I think the duty-free shop is a big case. Do you have any information?
Days in Leeds
– Has anyone contacted the patent screening committee for duty-free shops at the Korea Customs Service?
As expected, in the Group-Kakao Talk room, they considered the bidding for the duty-free shops a bigger one.
‘There is something that self-employed people say, “Location is ninety percent of the business.”
‘I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s clear that the location is important in business. The duty-free shop has a huge interest in it. Incheon International Airport, where duty-free shops come in, has been seeing an increasing number of passengers every year. Once the duty-free shop is confirmed, it will be guaranteed several years of sales. They can put a straw in a honey jar where the honey doesn’t stop.’
– Professor Sun Joo-gi of Korea University is the representative here, and he’s said to be very upright. A real scholar. I don’t think we can get any information from him, and we should look at the sideline.
– There is a high possibility that there is little on the sideline. The judges will only evaluate the data they receive and the decision will be made by the core. If we don’t dig Professor Sun Joo-gi in any way…
‘Oh, professor Sun Joo-gi…’
The hounds brought the prey on their own. I tried to write a search term on the portal site right away.
It came out right away. A professor of business administration at Korea University. Chairman of the Consumer Association of Korea and Chairman of the Korea Marketing Association. His career was brilliant. The name was also quite unique, so it didn’t overlap with anyone else. That was great. No matter how strong he was, he would have to be on the news in 12 Hours After.
I went over to stock analysis. A total of six companies had applied for the duty-free shop: Baekje Hotel, T-Land, Shinyoung Department Store, Xian Tourism, Edie Duty-Free Shop, and Elder DF.
Baekje Hotel, T-Land, and Shinyoung Department Store were all family companies of the chaebol, so they were old and had large market capital. There was a high chance that they would be selected. They had built up their business history for a long time, and they had connections with the political and business community. However, it was unlikely that their stock price would increase much.
Xian Tourism, Edie Duty-Free Shop, and Elder DF were relatively small companies. As a result of Korea’s characteristics, they were also built from chaebol capital, but they were a bit far away. The chances of being selected were low, but as their market capital was small, I could get more earnings from this side.
‘Two of the six companies are selected… There’s a one-third chance that they’ll get one right. The chance of getting it all is one-fifteenth.’
If I looked for their stock prices, and all six stocks were very shaky. +15%, –8%, then one day suddenly went to the upper limit price, and the next day, like a ghost, returned its rise.
‘It’s a hot topic.’
At any rate, all six stocks were higher than usual, about 10% to 20%. If one was selected, it would go straight to the upper limit price. If not, it should return the increase immediately. I made a plan.
‘At 8:55 on the day of the announcement. Let’s try searching for the names and when the results come out, go straight to full betting… or don’t touch them.’
I arranged it like that.
I watched the market with a light heart for a few days. The stocks of the six duty-free operators continued to run up and down the road ahead of the selection. A little surprising was the Jinyoung Pharmaceutical I had filtered out. The day before, a story came and went.
– I’m sure you’ll be getting good news tomorrow. Buy this stock.
That was a story for Jinyoung Pharmaceutical, and it went up +3%, 6%, 9% one morning.
[National Asthma Society – High evaluation of stability of Asthma treatment from Jinyoung Pharmaceutical.]
With such news, the stock price surged to close at 18%.
‘I’m sure there are certain people who have information…
‘But it’s not too bad. I have to filter out things I don’t know very well. There are plenty of opportunities anyway. Warren Buffett, a master of investment and a global lender, has reduced his investment principles to two: First, don’t lose money. Second, keep the first rule. It seems too simple to hear, but the truth is simple: if I increase money without losing it, the compounding amount will be frightening.’
I waited quietly until the day of the duty-free store selection.
“Hoo-hoo-hoo” I breathed like a boxer in the ring.
8:54. It was one minute before the news, six minutes before the opening. I didn’t even think about turning on Garden Envy’s cell phone. What I could believe was only 12 Hours After. That was all I could trust. As soon as it became fifty-five minutes, I immediately took the email and went to the People search. Then, I searched for “Sun Joo-gi.”
[Sun Joo-gi, a representing judge from the patent screening committee for duty-free shops announced the reasons for selection of entry companies of duty-free shops.]
I felt my eyes open wide. I clicked on it.
[Recently, there has been fierce competition among duty-free shops at Incheon International Airport over the selection of duty-free operators. With the controversy over bribery to the screening committee…]
‘Not like this.’
I scrolled down quickly.
[Sun Joo-gi, a representing judge of the committee, said, “We considered the management capabilities of the patent-related zones, the management capabilities of the operators, and the contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises to economic and social development.]
I scrolled down too much and I scrolled up again.
[It was announced around 2 p.m. The finally selected operators are the Baekje Hotel and Edie Duty-Free Shop. These two companies received high marks in the judging process…]
Two names came out. I went straight to HTS. The Baekje Hotel was a hotel conglomerate with the market capital of three billion dollars. Edie Duty-Free Shop was a small company with a market value of four hundred million dollars. I would like to buy the Edie Duty-Free Shop at full margin, but if I bought it with the credit on my account now, the stock price of the small company would go to the upper limit price with only my money.
‘It’s too dangerous. No matter how good the news is, I will buy half there.’
I turned on two HTSs, the original HTS and the new HTS. Each of the six stocks remained the same at a starting price before the opening of the market. They were shaken a lot until a day ago, but it was quiet today. I knew it was Judgment Day, when someone would go to Hell and someone to Heaven. Before I bought, I returned to the article and checked the news.
‘What time will they announce it?’
It would be two o’clock. The market opened, and I began to buy shares in the Edie Duty-Free Shop with one account and Baekje Hotel with the other.
– Do you have any information yet? The stock prices are moving at Baekje Hotel and Edie Duty-Free Shop.
– Baekje Hotel is usually the number one hotel. That’s the reason.
– T-Land and Edie Duty-Free Shop seem unlikely. Why did they go up? It’s weird. Someone bought more than $5,000,000. That alone was +6%.
– Is there a rumor going around at the Edie Duty-Free Shop? Shall we buy it?
– This is too dangerous, isn’t it? If we go in now, we can lose close to -40%.
Everyone was in disarray.
– I’m not going to bet. It’s too hard. It’s too risky.
Even cute Kaiji, who was one year younger than me, thought it was too risky. That was right. There was a big risk, as there were a lot of stocks that had risen in anticipation. If this would not work, it would go down to the low limit price, –30%. It was a situation of high risk, high return.
‘But I’m different.’
I already had the information. No risk, high return. Countless people came and went before my eyes. I saw a watch at a cafe in a café at Gangnam Station.
It was 1:58 p.m.
It was time to come up. The news said it was announced around two o’clock in the afternoon. Even if I took it slowly, it would come up within twenty minutes. I got the MTS on my cell phone and a news site on my Wi-Pad. And then, around 2:20, joy and sorrow began to diverge.
[Baekje Hotel +6%
Shinyoung Department Store –5%
Xian Tourism –12%
Edie Duty-Free Shop +12%
Elder DF –10%]
‘It must be up.’
I searched ‘duty-free shops’ with the Wi-Pad. There was no news yet. In the meantime, two companies’ stocks were decided.
[Baekje Hotel +30%
Shinyoung Department Store –22%
Xian Tourism –26%
Edie Duty-Free Shop +30%
Elder DF –28%]
I picked the correct answer on a thirty-six multiple-choice question. I hit refresh on the Wi-Pad.
[Incheon Duty-Free’s new business owners are Baekje Hotel and Edie Duty-Free Shop.]
The news got on the air only then. As expected, stocks were faster than the news. This meant that there was a person who caught on before someone went up to the press, such as investors or reporters on the scene.
‘There are people who are fast, too.
‘Some people use this time difference. So, stocks react faster than news. But even these people don’t know that there is a person whose news is faster than stocks, only one person in the universe, a subscriber to 12 Hours After. That’s me.’