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Top 5 biz groups' assets jump 38.2 percent over past decade

All News 09:39 July 05, 2022

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top five business groups have seen their assets surge nearly 40 percent over the past decade, a corporate tracker said Tuesday, pointing to their ever-growing clout in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The combined assets of the leading five -- Samsung, SK, Hyundai Motor, LG and Lotte -- came to 1,322.8 trillion won as of the end of last year, up 38.2 percent from 2012, according to the Leaders Index.

The growth rate is much higher than the 19.7 percent gain in the total assets of the country's top 30 business groups to 1,853 trillion won (US$1.02 trillion) over the cited period.

The figure covers assets held by their non-financial affiliates and capital owned by their financial units.

The five largest groups' assets accounted for 59.7 percent of the total, up from 51.7 percent from the end of 2012, just before the inauguration of the Park Geun-hye administration.

In particular, the ratio surged from 51.7 percent in 2012 to 59.4 percent in 2016, months before Park was impeached and imprisoned for far-reaching corruption charges and an influence-peddling scandal.

During the Moon Jae-in government from 2017-2021, the ratio edged down to 59.7 percent from 60.5 percent.

In contrast to the spike in the top five's assets, the remaining 25 business groups saw their assets tumbling 25.5 percent to 666.8 trillion won over the period.

No. 1 conglomerate Samsung posted the highest jump in assets, with them going up 58.1 percent from 306.1 trillion won to 483.9 trillion won over the cited period. Samsung Electronics Co., the world's leading smartphone and memory chip maker, belongs to the conglomerate.

Combined sales of the top five business groups soared 32.9 percent to 971.6 trillion won over the cited period, far outpacing the 5.5 percent increase in total sales of the 30 conglomerates to 1,592.6 trillion won.

The 30 business groups had a combined workforce of 1.39 million at the end of last year, up 7 percent from 2012, with the top five accounting for 57.8 percent of the total, up from 41.9 percent.

Top 5 biz groups' assets jump 38.2 percent over past decade - 2


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