Two major business groups have been newly added to the antitrust watch list as large business groups whose mutual investments and loan guarantees are restricted, the corporate watchdog said Tuesday.
Every year the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) announces a newly updated list of large business groups with assets of 10 trillion won (US$9.36 billion) or more to oversee their equity investments or inter-affiliate loan guarantees.
In its latest update, the FTC added Kyobo Life Insurance and Kolon, and removed one from the list, raising the total number to 32 from 31 tallied at the end of last year.
The FTC raised the asset criteria to 10 trillion won in September 2016 to allow midsized companies to conduct more activities through expanding new businesses.
Under the South Korean fair trade law, affiliates of large conglomerates with assets exceeding 10 trillion won are restricted from making equity investments among them or offering loan guarantees to each other.
In the latest update, Samsung Group retained the top rank with 62 affiliates under its wing worth a combined 399.2 trillion won in assets, followed by Hyundai Motor Group with 56 affiliates, or assets of 223 trillion won, and SK Group with 190 trillion won.
Meanwhile, the number of conglomerates subject to stricter regulatory filings increased to 60 from 57, according to the FTC.
The conglomerates are required to make public major management decisions regarding their non-listed affiliates and are barred from engaging in excessive trading among affiliates.
Kim Jung-mi firstname.lastname@example.org
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