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S. Korea sees economic dependence on big firms deepen

All News 08:29 September 05, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's dependence on large companies for economic growth deepened in 2017, with global tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. alone accounting for nearly 15 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), a corporate tracker said Wednesday.

The combined sales of Samsung and the nine other largest companies by turnover came to US$677.8 billion last year, or 44.2 percent of South Korea's GDP tallied at $1.53 trillion, according to CEO Score.

The proportion was up from 41.5 percent recorded two years earlier, indicating South Korea's growing dependence on big businesses for its economic growth.

Comparable figures were 24.6 percent for Japan and 11.8 percent for the United States.

"The countries have different standards for calculating sales and GDP, but the numbers show that South Korea's dependence on conglomerates is relatively high," an industry source said.

S. Korea sees economic dependence on big firms deepen - 1

Samsung, the world's No. 1 maker of smartphones and memory chips, was by far the largest contributor to South Korea's GDP. Samsung's sales reached $224.2 billion last year, taking up 14.6 percent of South Korea's GDP.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co. came next with $90.2 billion (5.9 percent), followed by LG Electronics Inc. with $57.5 billion (3.8 percent), steel giant POSCO with $56.8 billion (3.7 percent) and state power firm KEPCO with $56 billion (3.7 percent).

Others include Kia Motors Corp. with $50.1 billion (3.3 percent), Hanwha Corp. with $47.2 billion (3.1 percent), Hyundai Mobis Co with $32.9 billion (2.1 percent), Samsung Display Co. with $32.1 billion (2.1 percent) and KEB Hana Bank with $30.9 billion (2 percent).

Hyundai Motor Group, South Korea's No. 2 family-controlled conglomerate, had three top 10 companies -- Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis -- while top conglomerate Samsung Group had Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display.

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