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Top 10 conglomerates account for over half of Kospi's value

South Korea’s 10 largest business groups in market capitalization account for more than half of the total value of listings on the country’s main bourse, data showed Sunday.

The 10 business groups had 907.2 trillion won ($785.8 billion) in market capitalization, accounting for 51.3 percent of the total 1,767 trillion won as of Thursday, showed data by the Korea Exchange.

Among the so-called chaebol, Samsung Group with the market bellwether and its electronics arm Samsung Electronics took 491.8 trillion won, or 27.8 percent of the top-tier Kospi market cap. The group, led by hospitalized Chairman Lee Kun-hee, saw its market cap increase by some 97 trillion won, or 24.6 percent, compared to the end of 2016. 

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
The second-largest was SK Group with 115.1 trillion won. It pushed down Hyundai Motor, the No. 2 in 2016, by one notch. Hyundai Motor’s market cap reached 105.3 trillion won, up 0.18 percent from the end of 2016.

LG Group had 91.6 trillion won, while Lotte Group owned 30.3 trillion won.

Other business groups included in the data were GS Group, Hanwha Group, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Shinsegae Group and Doosan Group.

Posco, National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and KT were excluded from the data. Included were conglomerates with their chiefs and family members holding more than 30 percent of each group’s common stocks.

Hyundai Heavy Industries’ market cap rose by 44.9 percent, or 5.5 trillion won, showing the largest growth among the 10 groups.

Not all groups saw the increase such as Doosan Group, whose figure dropped by 450 billion won compared to the end of last year.

The giant business groups were also seen enjoying faster growth. The top 10 conglomerates showed an average 20.8 percent increase in market cap from 2016, whereas the overall Kospi saw a 17 percent increase.

The data also indicated that the market cap growth was mainly led by each group’s IT-related manufacturing arms. SK hynix, LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics saw the steepest rise of 52.3 percent, 49.4 percent and 33.3 percent respectively. Their market caps soared by 17 trillion won, 4.2 trillion won and 60.5 trillion won.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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