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Home > Story of a Big Player from Gangnam

65 Hit A Jackpot With Foreign Exchange 1

 Gun-Ho sold his two condos in the West Lake area.

They sold very quickly because it was moving season. There seemed to be a lot of potential buyers waiting for a luxurious condo with a West Lake view to appear on the market. Even after Gun-Ho's condos were sold, the price of the condos in the community continued to increase. That upset him a bit.

The buyer who bought Gun-Ho's condos had offered 4,250,000 Yuan which was less than the listing price because the condo's interior was more than two years old. Gun-Ho accepted the offer and received 8,500,000 Yuan for two condos.

"I'm going to pay off my loan of 1,900,000 Yuan to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China!"

After paying off his loan, 6,600,000 Yuan was left in his bank account.

"In Korean won, it is 792 million won. I initially had 480 million won when I came to China, so I made more than 300 million won in two years and eight months. Not bad at all. I made about the salary of someone who has a decent office job with several 100 million won of yearly salary!"

He patted his bank book.

"I made more than the economic growth rate of this country as Chairman Lee said. It was the right decision acquiring the condos located in the most expensive area, so the price could increase more than the economic growth rate. If I have a chance to buy a real property in Seoul, I will buy the one located in Gangnam, not in a metropolitan area. It has to be Gangnam. Expensive condos become more expensive just like the prices of stocks that keeps on increasing. Its prices would just keep going up. That's how the world works!"

Gun-Ho set his restaurant to close on the same day Mae-Hyang would return for her home town. He asked the staff to gather and told them that,

"We have now one month left before the building closes. I wanted to keep the restaurant open until that date. However, I decided to close it earlier since we, including me, all don't have any desire or passion to serve our customers any longer."

The staff dropped their eyes while listening to Gun-Ho.

"I haven't decided yet whether I would re-open the restaurant after six months. If any of you have to work to make a living, you should get another job. I will close the restaurant for now and take some time off. If I decide to re-open the restaurant, I will contact each of you."

One kitchen lady started sobbing. Many of the staff showed tears in their eyes except Dingming, Mae-Hyang, and two other young hall staff ladies; they just lowered their head without sobbing.

"You are going to give us economic compensation, right?"

The lady who was sobbing asked.

"Economic compensation?"

Gun-Ho couldn't understand what that was. Dingming explained,

"According to labor law, a company that is partially owned and operated by a foreigner or a foreign entity must provide economic compensation to their workers."

Gun-Ho looked at Mae-Hyang.

"Economic compensation is similar to a retirement pay or severance pay."

Gun-Ho realized that he didn't clarify the severance pay matter with Mr. Byeon. Mr. Byeon should have given a certain amount of severance pay to Gun-Ho when he sold the restaurant to him. Well, at this moment, Gun-Ho could do nothing much about it. Gun-Ho regretted that he was not smarter at that time. Gun-Ho quickly calculated.

'Half of the staff worked here for three or four years, and the rest of them worked for two years. So, if I assume that their average work period is three years, then I will have to pay 50,000 Yuan in total for their severance pay because I have to pay three months worth of salary to a staff who worked for three years as her severance pay. Now I understand why many Korean businessmen ran away when their business failed. If I refuse to pay it, I will be arrested. Let's give it to them with a smile, and think positive.'

Gun-Ho acted as if he was aware of the severance pay, but he just didn't know the word in Chinese.

"Oh, the severance pay! Of course, I will give you all your severance pay."

When Gun-Ho promised to pay them without any problem, the staff showed a broad smile.

Gun-Ho had 250,000 Yuan worth of restaurant rent saved up. He used that money to give them their severance pay. He put his staff's severance pay in an envelope and handed it to each one of them.

"Thank you."

Gun-Ho made another envelope for each staff with 500 Yuan. It was a farewell pay from Gun-Ho.

"Oh, wow, thank you so much."

The staff didn't expect to be paid more than their severance pay, and they were truly grateful for it. For Dingming and Mae-Hyang, Gun-Ho talked to them in private and gave them 2,000 Yuan worth of farewell pay to each of them.

The following day, Gun-Ho went to the restaurant.

The light was off and all the chairs were placed on the tables. Gun-Ho received a phone call from Mae-Hyang.

"G-jjong, I wanted to thank you again for the farewell pay. I am in a train station right now. I wish you good health. I might see you around in Seoul."

Mae-Hyang sounded more cheerful than when she worked in the restaurant. It was almost noon when Dingming came to the restaurant.

"G-jjing, when did you arrive here?"

"A minute ago. I already told the hotel that we are closing the restaurant."

"Umm... What will you do with all of these kitchen appliances?"

"Yeah... I don't think I can take them with me to Korea."

Gun-Ho laughed and Dingming laughed along.

"If you're planning to re-open the restaurant in the future, then you should keep them; otherwise, you should just sell them."

"Let's sell them for now."

"Do you want me to start selling them?"

"Let's do this. I already notified the tax office that I will close the restaurant, but we have to terminate Mando Food Co., Ltd. as well. Why don't you take care of it? Once you sell the kitchen appliances, you can have enough proceeds to cover the expenses of terminating Mando Food."

"Sure, I will do that as long as that's okay with you."

Gun-Ho notified the landlord to vacate the apartment.

"I closed the Korean restaurant, sold the Hwaganghwawon condos and placed Hobanhwawon apartment on the market for the next tenant. Now, I am ready to go back to Korea."

The apartment was rented to another Korean the day after it was placed on the market.

"The new tenant wants to move in after ten days. So I have ten days left here in China. I don't have to go to school and I don't have to go to the restaurant to work. Let's go to Shanghai and exchange the money in my bank account with Korean won, and let's make a short trip around China."

Gun-Ho went to Kookmin Bank in Hongqiao, Shanghai to exchange his money from Yuan to Won. He already transferred the money from his bank account with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to his account with Kookmin Bank.

"I'd like to exchange 6,600,000 Yuan to Korean won."

"Wow, that is a considerable amount of money. Did you close your business here?"

The bank assistant manager seemed to be surprised by looking at the amount of money Gun-Ho wanted to exchange.

"That's right."

"For this amount of money, I will have to file a report. Do you have the paperwork that shows the closing of your business?"

"Here is a copy of the certificate of cessation of my business."

The bank staff who was assisting Gun-Ho looked at his computer screen for a while.

"After exchanging to Korean won, we can just leave the money to the same account, right?"


"You must have succeeded in your business here in China. I've seen many business people who failed here since it's not easy to run a business in China."

The bank staff said while handing the bank book to him with a smile. Gun-Ho was frightened when he verified his account balance on his bank book. It said 1,174,800,000 won instead of 790,000,000 won, the amount he expected to see on the bank book.

"I think something is not right."

"What's the matter? Today's selling rate is 178 won." (this was the exchange rate at that time)

"Selling rate!"

Gun-Ho followed the bank staff's finger to the electronic board he was indicating. The selling rate was clearly 178 won."

"Wow! 178 won!"

The buying rate applied when Gun-Ho had exchanged Korean won to Chinese Yuan two years ago when Gun-Ho had come to China was 120 won. The selling rate now was 178 won. Gun-Ho shivered.

It could be said that Gun-Ho failed his restaurant business in China. However, he made a fortune in his real estate investment. After failing a restaurant business in Noryangjin, Gun-Ho came to China with 480 million won and he made almost 700 million won with that seed money.


* For your reference: As of December 18, 2017, the selling rate of Yuan is 1:156.33.