The Fair Trade Commission has announced the list of large business groups that are subject to the disclosure regulations under the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act. The list included 59 business groups with assets exceeding 5 trillion won (US$4.2 billion). These groups have a total of 2,103 affiliates.
These groups are required to disclose the distribution of share ownership, cross shareholdings among affiliates, debt guarantees, transactions between affiliates and persons who have special ties with their chairmen and other important issues.
This years’ list included two new members, Aekyung Group and Dow Kiwoom Group, while three groups were excluded, including Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. and Hansol Group. Meritz Financial Group was also omitted as it was reclassified as a financial group following its disposal of nonfinancial affiliates.
Along with the list of the conglomerates, the FTC disclosed the list of their “chongsu,” or the ultimate decision maker. The FTC identifies the chongsu for each business group to determine the scope of relatives and companies that are subject to the regulations under the the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act.
This year, two major business groups, LG and Doosan, submitted applications for the change of their chongsu to the FTC, which the regulator has approved. LG Group chairman Koo Kwang-mo and Doosan Group chairman Park Jeong-won have been designated as each group’s chongsu.
For Hanjin Group, the FTC designated Cho Won-tae, CEO of Hanjin KAL, the group’s holding company, as chongsu, although he was not officially endorsed as group chairman by the company’s board of directors.
The FTC said it judged that Cho is virtually in control of the group as the only son of the late Hanjin chairman Cho Yang-ho.
Among the 59 business groups, 34 groups with assets exceeding 10 trillion won (US$8.4 billion) are additionally subject to a ban on cross shareholdings and provision of debt guarantees among affiliates.
Two new groups were included in the top 34 groups -- Kakao Group and HDC Group, which is built around Hyundai Development Co.
The rankings of the nation’s five largest groups in terms of assets remained unchanged. Yet the assets of the third placed SK Group increased by 28 trillion won from a year ago, narrowing its gap with the second placed Hyundai Motor Group.
Among the top 10 largest groups, Hanwha Group moved up by one notch to seventh place, while GS Group was relegated to eighth place.
Among the top 15 largest groups, Hanjin Group moved up from 14th to 13th and CJ Group from 15th to 14th while Doosan slipped from 13th to 15th.