South Korean asset management firms saw their combined assets surpass 1,000 trillion won (US$883 billion) for the first time last year. However, their net profit took a hit.
The combined assets under management of 243 asset managers totaled 1,018.70 trillion won (US$899.51 billion) as of the end of last year, up 7.3 percent from 949.60 trillion won (US$838.50 billion) at the same period a year earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) on March 13. It is the first time for year-end assets under management in South Korea to top 1,000 trillion won (US$883 billion).
More specifically, the amount of private equity funds jumped 42.40 trillion won (US$37.26 billion) to 333.20 trillion won (US$293.33 billion), while that of real estate funds and special asset funds grew 15.40 trillion won (US$13.60 billion) and 13.50 trillion won (US$11.92 billion), respectively.
As of late December, the number of asset management firms in South Korea totaled 243, with 28 new players added over the year.
However, their net profit rather shrunk. The net profit of asset management companies came to 606 billion won (US$535.10 million) last year, down 1.4 percent from 614.70 billion won (US$542.78 million) from a year earlier.
In particular, only 146 firms showed a surplus as of the end of last year, while as much as 97 companies recorded a loss. Nearly half of private equity fund management firms experienced the slump in profit as 80 out of 169 companies incurred losses last year.
The soundness showed a falling trend as well. The return on equity (ROE) stood at 10.2 percent last year, down 1.4 percent points from 11.6 percent a year ago.