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Number of Global Korean Companies Unchanged after Ten Years
Stagnant Ranking
Number of Global Korean Companies Unchanged after Ten Years
  • By matthew
  • March 26, 2014, 08:14
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The number of Korea’s global companies turned out to remain the same for the 10th straight year, meaning that the growth rate is slower than that of China, India, Brazil, and Russia.

According to the outcome of research done by The Federation of Korean Industries on March 24, Korea in the last decade achieved only an inconsequential increase in the number of companies that rank on the three major global company ranking lists – the Fortune Global 500, Financial Times Global 500, and Forbes Global 2000.

Each list has its own evaluation system. The Fortune 500 is based on sales, Financial Times Global 500 on market capitalization, and Forbes Global 2000 on the aggregate amount of sales, profits, assets, and market capitalization.

The number of domestic companies on the Fortune Global 500 rose by only 3, from 11 in 2004 to 14 in 2013. During the same period, 74 new Chinese companies appeared on the list. Also, Brazil managed to get 5 new companies on the list, while India and Russia managed 4 each.

On the Financial Times Global 500, China showed an increase of 37 companies, trailed by India with 10 and Brazil with 8, while for Korea only 2 more companies made the list, making 5 total. The Forbes Global 2000 was no different, since only 15 more Korean companies made it in the last decade, brutally beaten by competing countries such as China with 133, India with 29, Russia with 18, and Brazil with 16.

Korean companies are harder to find in top 100 rankings. Only Samsung Electronics and SK Corp made it to the top 100 among the Fortune Global 500. Only Samsung Electronics was included in the Financial Times Global 100, and only Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor Company showed up in the top 100 of the Forbes Global 2000.

The problem is that only a few companies seem to be candidates for entering the ranking in the offing, making it hard for Korea to advance into a G5-level country. According to the Federation of Korean Industries, based on 2013’s performance, only four Korean companies meet 90 percent of the sales criteria for Fortune Global 500 companies, and only three companies meet 90 percent of the market capitalization criteria for Financial Times Global 500 companies.