Companies’ entertainment expenses drop 15% after anti-graft law

By Cho Chung-un
  • Published : Sept 27, 2017 - 15:33
  • Updated : Sept 27, 2017 - 17:57

South Korean companies spent 15 percent less on entertainment in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, a study on the impact of the anti-graft law showed Wednesday.

Marking the first year of the “Kim Young-ran law,” which came into effect on Sept. 28 last year, CEOScore, a local corporate tracker, studied 139 companies among the top 500 firms here that filed entertainment expenses in their regulatory filings. The companies spent an average 97 billion won ($85.1 million) between January and June, a 15.1 percent decrease from 114.3 billion won a year prior, before the law was implemented. Combined revenues of the 139 companies increased 6.3 percent to 13.3 trillion won, it added.

Yuhan Corporation, a local pharmaceuticals firm, topped the list of companies that cut spending on entertainment, with an 81.4 percent decrease from last year. Following were local game developer NCSoft and Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co., with decreases of 74 percent and 73.5 percent, respectively.

A Seoul-based restaurant introduces a meal set priced at 29,000 won, hovering below the ceiling of 30,000 won set by the Kim Young-ran Law in this file photo taken on Sept. 22, 2016. (Yonhap)

Companies that reduced entertainment expenses by more than 60 percent also included meat processor Harim, defense company LIG Nex1 and fashion distributor Shinsegae International.

Expenses by internet portal giant Naver, Kumho Industrial and Lotte Shopping also halved in the first half.

Meanwhile, some construction companies and investment firms increased their entertainment expenses even after the law. Mirae Asset Capital, a subsidiary of Mirae Asset Financial Group, spent 94.6 percent more while Lotte Chemical, a chemical arm under Lotte Group and Seohee Engineering and Construction spent 67 percent and 49 percent more, respectively.

The study did not include expenses by major companies including Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor, LG Electronics and Posco, as entertainment expenses are not compulsory to report.

The Kim Young-ran law, named after the former Supreme Court justice who first drafted it, bars civil servants, journalists and teachers, as well as their spouses, from accepting meals and gifts worth more than 30,000 won and 50,000 won, respectively.

By Cho Chung-un (