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More firms subject to strict antitrust rules in May

All News 10:52 June 01, 2016

SEJONG, June 1 (Yonhap) -- The number of South Korean business groups' affiliates subject to restrictions on mutual investments and loan guarantees rose sharply in May from a month earlier, the antitrust watchdog said Wednesday.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said the number of firms on its monthly watch list came in at 1,759 on Monday, up 18 from the previous month.

Such affiliates are owned by the country's 65 largest business groups, including Samsung Group, Hyundai Motor Group and Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea's top mobile messenger KakaoTalk, which was added to the list in March.

Thirteen business groups, including Mirae Asset, LG and KT, increased the number of affiliates through stake purchases and establishments.

On the other hand, 10 business groups, including Shinsegae, POSCO and Hanwha, had fewer companies on the FTC's updated list.

Under South Korea's fair trade law, the affiliates of large business groups with assets of 5 trillion won (US$4.37 billion) or more are restricted from making equity investments in affiliates or offering loan guarantees to one another.


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