Woori Bank, oldest top 500 firm in South Korea

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 6, 2016 - 17:04
  • Updated : Jul 7, 2016 - 09:59

With a history of 105 years, Woori Bank is the oldest among South Korea’s largest 500 companies by sales, according to CEO Score, a website devoted to monitoring local conglomerates.

Among the 500, almost half were found to be more than 40 years old, while another 12 percent are over 60 years old. Combined, those aged 20 years or older accounted for 82 percent of the firms.

Woori Bank

In contrast, just 18 percent were “younger” companies aged 20 years or less. On average, the top 500 companies were of 37.6 years of age.

The data by CEO Score was compiled based on when the firms were registered with the authorities as a corporation. Public companies were excluded.

CEO Score concluded that South Korean conglomerates were aging, and that the industry lacked a generational transition.

Pharmaceutical firms and banks were the oldest, aged an average 60 years old. Finances, services, communication, energy and distribution, on the other hand, were mostly in their 20s.

Woori Bank was first registered as Joseon Commercial Bank in 1911, but when going further up to its precursor, Daehan Chunil Bank, the bank’s official age was tallied at 117.

The second-oldest firm is Mertiz Fire & Marine Insurance, which celebrates its 94th anniversary this year. It is followed by Yuhan Corp. at 90 years of age, Standard Chartered Bank at 87 years, and CJ Korea Express Corp. at 86 years.

In the 70-something bracket was Kia Motors, and insurers like Hanwha Life and Lotte Fire & Marine.

Those aged 60 years or older include Hanwha Group, LG International and Shinsegae. Companies aged between 20 and 40 years of age include Hyundai Mobis, SK Telecom KT and Asiana Airlines.

Among the companies aged between 40 and 60 years of age were Samsung Electronics (47) and Hyundai Motor (49). POSCO became 48 years old this year.

LG Uplus, NCSoft, Naver, Homeplus and CJ CGV were some of the firms aged between 20 to 40 years of age.

By Kim Ji-hyun (