SEOUL. April 24 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s top 10 conglomerates have increased their cash reserves over the past year.
According to a study conducted by progressive civic groups, the combined retained earnings of the top 10 Korean chaebols (conglomerates) increased about 9 percent to 550 trillion won in the past year.
The civic groups held a press conference on April 21 to announce the financial statement analysis of the top 10 business groups’ 93 listed affiliates for the 2015 fiscal year. The results showed that the retained earnings of the 10 chaebols as of 2015 reached 549.6 trillion won, or a 9.1 percent increase.
Sixteen stock-listed affiliates of Samsung Group had the highest reserves at 215.3 trillion won, up 9.4 percent from 18.6 trillion won at the end of 2014. Hyundai Motor Group’s 11 listed affiliates saw their combined retained earnings increase from 10.5 trillion won to 112.6 trillion won.
The civic groups fiercely criticized the conglomerates for holding on to their unspent cash surpluses last year, when the Korean economy was sluggish and low-income earners were tightening their belts. Household debt increased more than 11 percent, and the nation’s GDP growth rate stood at 2.6 percent.
However, business organizations such as the Federation ofKorean Industries countered that the civic groups do not fully understand retained earnings. The earned surplus refers to retained corporate income after paying out dividends, wages and taxes.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)