SEJONG, May 2 (Korea Bizwire) – Four companies including KT&G Corp., South Korea’s largest tobacco manufacturer, have been included on the antitrust watch list as large business groups, with its mutual investments and loan guarantees to be restricted, the watchdog said Monday.
Every year the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) announces a newly updated list of large business groups with assets of 10 trillion won (US$8.8 billion) or more to oversee their equity investments or inter-affiliate loan guarantees.
In its latest update, the FTC added four companies and removed one from the list, raising the total number to 31 from 28 tallied at the end of last year.
KT&G, Korea Investment Holdings Co., Harim Co., a poultry-processing company, and KCC Corp. were listed for the second time since last year when the asset criteria was 5 trillion won. Hyundai Group was delisted due to a decrease in its total assets, the FTC added.
The FTC raised the asset criteria to 10 trillion won in September last year to pave a wider way for mid-sized 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.
At the latest update, Samsung Group retained the top rank with 62 affiliated under its wing worth a combined 363.2 trillion won in assets, followed by Hyundai Motor Group with assets of 218.6 trillion won and SK Group with 170.7 trillion won.