Cash assets of the top 72 companies in the KOSPI market as of March this year totaled 116 trillion won (US$104.4 billion), up 54% over five years. Cash assets are the sum of cash held by a company and short-term financial products that are easy to convert into cash. The listed company with the most cash was Samsung Electronics.
The Korea Exchange surveyed total assets, cash and cash assets over the past five years of 72 of the top 100 companies in the KOSPI market by excluding 28 companies which are financial companies and non-financial companies whose financial assets including preferred stocks are difficult to compare.
Total assets of these companies increased 37.2% from 1.390 quadrillion won (US$1.25 trillion) at the end of 2012 to 1.908 quadrillion won (US$1.71 trillion) at the end of March of this year. Among these, total cash assets swelled 54% from 75.2 trillion won (US$67.6 billion) to 115.7 trillion won (US$104.1billion). This figure took up 29% of this year’s government budget of 400.5 trillion won (US$360.4 billion).
By stock, the company with the largest amount of cash assets at the end of March was Samsung Electronics with the highest market capitalization of 27.563 trillion won (24.8 billion). Its cash assets accounted for 10.43% of Samsung Electronics' total assets worth 264.217 trillion won (US$237.7 billion).
Samsung Electronics was followed by SK with 8.412 trillion won (US$7.5 billion), Hyundai Motor with 6.534 trillion won (US$5.8 billion), Hyundai Heavy Industries with 3.978 trillion won (US$3.5 billion), Kia Motors with 3.432 trillion won (US$3.1 billion), Hyundai Mobis with 3.362 trillion won (US$3.02 billion), KEPCO with 3.188 trillion won (US$2.8 billion) and LG Electronics with 3.032 billion won (US$2.72 billion), respectively.
At the end of March of last year, the industry with the largest number of cash assets per company was the electrical and electronic industry with 5.138 trillion won (US$4.62 billion). The electrical and electronic industry was followed by the transportation equipment industry with 2.975 trillion won (US$2.67 billion), the electric gas industry with 2.144 trillion won (US$1.92 billion) and the construction industry with 1.453 trillion won (US$1.30 billion).