In December 2022, we traveled to South Korea. We met with companies that we are considering for inclusion in the portfolio and companies that might give us insights into other investments. We are always seeking to better understand local businesses, investors, history, and culture. We require deep and well-rounded knowledge of the companies in which we invest in and those who manage them, so that we can better predict outcomes and potential returns.
We certainly came away with many important discernments and some spots where we can make investments at the right prices. We strengthened relationships with some important people in our network and made new contacts. Recent increases in the U.S. dollar have made South Korea’s manufacturing base more competitive for export, and current valuations do not require a lot of growth to reward investors with a reasonable return. Some efforts are being made to improve corporate governance. Locals believe if they improve access to the market for foreign investors and corporate governance standards, the country could graduate from an emerging market to a developed market. Certainly, day-to-day life in Seoul feels very developed.