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South Korea's Kakao shares plunge after weekend data center fire

Service 'blackout' draws rebuke from country's president over market dominance

Kakao apps are widely used in South Korea.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- Shares in South Korean internet giant Kakao declined as much as nearly 10% on Monday after the company's wide range of services -- from chatting and taxi-hailing to banking and simple payments -- stopped over the weekend due to a fire at a data center. 

The company's stock closed 5.9% lower at 48,350 won ($34) on Seoul's benchmark Kospi exchange after falling as much as 9.5%. The stock price of Kakao Bank, its online banking unit, dropped 5.1% to 16,600 won, while that of Kakao Pay, its arm for simple payments, skidded 4.2% to 34,600 won. The overall Kospi, however, inched up 0.3% to 2,219.71. 

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