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Conglomerates' spending on business assets jumps 10.9%

Affiliates and subsidiaries of South Korea’s top 30 conglomerates spent a combined 64.9 trillion won ($57.3 billion) on acquiring business assets, such as facilities and projects for research and development, in the first three quarters of this year, data showed Sunday. 

The conglomerates’ volume of capital expenditure -- spending on tangible assets -- and operating expenses -- of intangible assets -- combined rose 10.9 percent compared to the first three quarters in 2017, according to data compiled by industry tracker CEO Score.

By conglomerate, Samsung and SK were top investors in tangible and intangible assets, spending 20.3 trillion won and 14.9 trillion won, respectively. Other business groups, LG, Hyundai Motor and KT, spent 10.2 trillion won, 5.1 trillion won and 1.8 trillion won, respectively.

The expenses of Hyundai Heavy Industries, SK and LG jumped the sharpest, by 84.6 percent, 46.4 percent and 32.7 percent, respectively. In contrast, those of Samsung conglomerate and KT fell 1.2 percent and 18.4 percent.

By individual companies, Samsung Electronics and SK hynix -- the crown jewels of their respective conglomerates that manufacture semiconductor chips -- spent 18.3 trillion won and 10.9 trillion won, respectively. The two account for a combined 45.1 percent of conglomerate-wide investments into business assets in Korea.

The sum of capital expenditures came to 59.7 trillion won, up 12.4 percent on-year, while that of operating expenses stood at 5.2 trillion won, down 4.3 percent on-year.

By Son Ji-hyoung