SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean big companies’ investments expanded nearly 5 percent in the first half of the year thanks mainly to a semiconductor boom, a corporate tracker said Friday.
Global tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. and 331 other large firms in Asia’s fourth-largest economy invested a combined 82.8 trillion won (US$70.3 billion) in the January-June period, up 4.6 percent from a year earlier, according to CEO Score.
Compared with the pre-pandemic first half of 2019, the figure was up 12.6 percent.
The first-half increase was powered by big capital spending by Samsung Electronics and SK hynix Inc., another local chip giant.
Samsung Electronics’ investment soared 26.7 percent on-year to 25.1 trillion won in the six-month period, which accounted for nearly 30 percent of the total. In particular, Samsung spent 20.9 trillion won on expanding its chip facilities.
SK hynix’s investment totaled 7.5 trillion won in the first half, up 40.5 percent from a year earlier.
Investments by Samsung Electronics and SK hynix took up nearly 40 percent of the total capital spending by the big companies.
Companies in distribution, pharmaceuticals and nine other industrial sectors also increased their investments in the first half from a year earlier.
But petrochemical, auto and state-run companies cut back on their investments. State power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp. invested 6.8 trillion won, the largest among public firms but down 2.7 percent from a year ago.
Leading chemicals maker LG Chem Ltd. saw its first-half investment tumble 18.1 percent on-year to 2.6 trillion won, with top automaker Hyundai Motor Co.’s investment sinking 13.6 percent to 2.5 trillion won.