Total investment by South Korea's top 30 business groups surged more than 40 percent on-year to about 58 trillion won (US$52.87 billion) this year. Samsung Group, which has Samsung Electronics as an affiliate, accounted for over one third of the total investment, driven by the global super boom in semiconductors.
According to Seoul-based corporate evaluation website CEO Score on November 19, capital expenditures of 261 companies affiliated to Korea’s 30 largest business groups in January-September period are estimated at 57.8 trillion won (US$52.69 billion), up a whopping 42.6 percent from 40.52 trillion won (US$36.94 billion) a year earlier. CEO Score compiled the data based on the quarterly reports filed by individual companies and the total figure does not include research and development spending.
Investment in tangible assets such as facilities jumped 49.8 percent on year to 52.3 trillion won (US$47.67 billion) but spending on intangible assets such as industrial property rights shrank 2 percent on year to 5.61 trillion won (US$5.12 billion).
By group, the country’s largest conglomerate Samsung made the largest 20.3 trillion won (US$18.5 billion) capital investment, followed by SK and LG with 10.15 trillion won (US$9.25 billion) and 7.71 trillion won (US$7.03 billion), respectively. The combined capital expenditure of the top three reached 38.16 trillion won (US$34.78 billion) and made up nearly two-thirds of the top 30 Korean conglomerates’ total capital investment.
Hyundai Motor Group and KT also made the top five list having invested 5.19 trillion won (US$4.73 billion) and 2.18 trillion won (US$1.99 billion), respectively, in the first nine months of the year. In addition, S-Oil invested 1.43 trillion won (US$1.31 billion), POSCO 1.42 trillion won (US$1.29 billion), Hanjin 1.37 trillion won (US$1.25 billion), Lotte 1.19 trillion won (US$1.08 billion), CJ 1.12 trillion won (US$1.02 billion) and GS 1.02 trillion won (US$932.82 million), all investing more than 1 trillion won (US$911.58 million) up till September.
However, Hyundai Motor Group, Doosan, POSCO and Daewoo Engineering & Construction, which are mainly related to heavy industries, decreased their investments compared to last year.
By individual company, Samsung Electronics handily outpaced all rivals with 18.84 trillion won (US$17.17 billion) invested, with global chipmaker SK Hynix and LG Display taking the remaining top three spots at 2.39 trillion won (US$2.18 billion) and 1.85 trillion won (US$1.69 billion), respectively.