HOUSTON (Oct. 18, 2004) - Speaking at the prestigious World Knowledge Forum in Seoul, South Korea, Stewart Morris highlighted the significant role of real estate in the overall stability of the U.S. economy, emphasizing that the Korean real estate market stands poised to make a similar impact on the Korean economy.
A 75-year veteran of the real estate and title industry, Morris is chairman of Stewart Information International Inc. (Stewart International), a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE-STC).
Citing continued volatility in Korea's local real estate market along with low interest rates, the recent introduction of a mortgage loan system, and rising home ownership rates and income levels, Morris said the Korean real estate market's long-term potential looks promising, but noted there are continued obstacles to overcome.
"One of the challenges in any real estate market is how to make the real estate transaction process affordable, efficient, secure and transparent for an average consumer," said Morris.
Highlighting the work of Stewart International's subsidiary Stewart Korea Escrow and Title, Morris said the implementation of an escrow system across Korea will be a key step in that process. "The escrow system will add a needed security, transparency, and efficiency level to the market - further stabilizing the local real estate market," he said.
Morris treated the audience with a discussion of the knowledge management techniques that have guided the parent Stewart entity in its growth from a small Texas-based company to a global real estate information giant with more than 7,900 issuing offices on five continents.
"The invitation to speak at the World Knowledge Forum was an honor for both Mr. Morris and the Stewart organization, and represents an acknowledgement by the leaders of Asian economies of the importance of real estate markets in overall economic performance," said Jeannie Osborne, president and chief operating officer, Stewart International.
The World Knowledge Forum is the foremost forum on a wide range of regional and global business issues to help shape the immediate future of the world, with participants sharing ideas and practices through intensive interaction and candid dialogue.
About Stewart International
Stewart International provides oversight and leadership for Stewart's expansion to markets outside of the United States. By consulting with governments on land laws, developing automated public land record systems, promoting primary and secondary mortgage markets, delivering solutions that speed and simplify the conveyance process, and providing market-driven title assurance, Stewart International enhances the real estate transaction process. To date, Stewart provides title guarantees and title insurance policies, escrow services, and real estate information services in more than 30 countries through its offices in Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Slovak Republic, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Stewart has an 18-year history of providing real estate information solutions for various governments including the Slovak Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Hungary, Costa Rica, Washington, D.C., and other locations in the United States. For more information, visit http://www.stewart.com/international/.
Stewart Information Services Corp. is a technology driven, strategically competitive, real estate information and transaction management company. Stewart provides title insurance and related information services through more than 7,800 issuing locations in the United States and several international markets. Stewart meets the needs of the real estate and mortgage industries through the delivery of information services required for settlement using e-commerce. These services include title reports, flood determinations, document preparation, property reports and background checks. Stewart also supplies post-closing services to lenders, automated county clerk land records, property ownership mapping and GIS for governmental entities. Stewart provides expertise in tax-deferred exchanges. More information about Stewart can be found at http://www.stewart.com/.