The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Second Vice Minister in Command Han Jin-Hyun said that public companies must make tough decisions and unload any assets that are not part of the core business of the company, even if it means getting rid of assets that are profit-making, in a discussion regarding restructuring of Energy Corporation Management.
During a meeting with reporters on February 11, Vice Minister Han upped the rhetoric that the Park Geun-hye administration has been preaching, saying that it makes sense to restructure and shed debt than chug along with a negative balance sheet, and that companies must look out for their own financial health and plant seeds for future growth with long term business goals in mind.
The Vice Minster pointed out one pubic company in particular, without naming any names, that has 26 on-going national scale resource development projects under its wing. He said this symbolized the culture of non-management, and argued that no public company can effectively run 26 national scale projects at once.
To those who argue that the restructuring of public companies undermines resource development projects, he named a number of projects such as the Korea Resources Corporation (KORES)’s Boleo mine project in Mexico and Nickel mines in Madagascar as feasible examples that have yielded credible results with continued funding from the government.
Vice Minister Han said that a committee consisting of accounting and consulting experts will supervise the projects at a macro level, but insisted that each individual public company must make their own decisions as to which units to unload or to maintain, and be responsible for their business decisions.