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Major Korean firms suffer drop in sales and market cap

All Headlines 10:08 April 12, 2016

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- Major South Korean firms are facing a sales drop and the subsequent growth slowdown, while their foreign rivals are continuously expanding their presence, a report showed Tuesday.

According to the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI), 14 South Korean firms that were included in the world's top 1,000 companies in terms of market capitalization as of end-March saw their sales grow 1.12 percent in 2015, sharply decelerating from a 6.18 percent gain in 2014, an 8.48 percent rise in 2013 and a 5.75 percent growth in 2012.

Their annual sales growth reached 18.41 percent in 2010 and 14.86 percent in 2011, the report said.

The report showed that a total of 16 Korean firms were within the world's top 1,000 companies by market cap as of end-March, six of which have been newly added or seen their ranking rise compared with 2010.

Samsung Electronics Co., the country's top market cap, saw its ranking rise to 28th from 45th over the cited period. State-run electricity provider Korea Electric Power Corp. and chipmaker SK hynix Co. also saw their rankings rise.

Top cosmetics maker AmorePacific Co. and Internet portal provider Naver were newly added during the cited period.

But top automaker Hyundai Motor and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. suffered a drop in the market cap ranking.

"Local companies are witnessing a drop in their overseas sales. What is worrisome is that major firms' expansion hit a snag and their market cap dropped, indicating that they are losing ground in the face of increased competition," said Kim Yoon-kyung, an analyst at the institute.

sam@yna.co.kr
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