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Conglomerates adding more overseas affiliates

All Headlines 08:24 April 11, 2018

SEOUL, April 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean conglomerates increased the number of their overseas-based affiliates by nearly 40 percent over the past five years, a large portion of them in Asia, notably China, according to corporate analyzer CEO Score on Wednesday.

The top 30 conglomerates had 3,455 affiliates in foreign countries as of end-2017, an increase of 37.9 percent from 2,506 at the end of 2012.

Overseas affiliates are at least half-owned in stakes or are fully operated by the head company in South Korea. While 1,580 new such companies were established by the conglomerates during the five-year period, 631 had closed.

By business group, Hanwha ranked at the top after opening 235 affiliates overseas as it enlarged is solar power business. Data showed 208 of the conglomerate's 325 offices abroad were related to solar energy, with 192 of the total opened over the last five years.

Second-ranked Samsung opened 160 new affiliates offshore during the period, 53 of them last year after taking over U.S. audio firm Harman International Industries early in the year.

CJ Group came in third with 160 new overseas affiliates to expand its logistics, cultural content, and food and beverage portfolios.

LG added 82, SK 74, Hyundai Motor 73 and Nonghyup 64.

Conglomerates like Hanjin shed 47 from extensive restructuring due to financial troubles. Steelmaker POSCO lost 25, while Kumho Asiana shut down 23.

By region, Asia was the most popular destination, hosting 44 percent, or 418, of the newly opened affiliates. North America claimed 165, the Middle East 133 and Europe 113. For individual countries, China ranked at the top with 140, followed by 128 in the United States.

Despite ranking second in the number of new offshore affiliates, Samsung still had the highest total with 661. LG came next with 333, followed by Hanwha (325), Hyundai Motor (308), SK (303), Lotte (301) and CJ (300).

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