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Conglomerates spend more on R&D, intellectual property in 2014: report

South Korea's top conglomerates spent more on research and development and intellectual property to seek new growth engines in 2014, while cutting back on facility-related investments, a report showed Sunday.

A total of 274 firms belonging to the country's 30 largest business groups injected 35.31 trillion won ($32.31 billion) into R&D for the whole of 2014, up 1.6 percent from the year before, according to the report by CEO Score, a local corporate researcher.

The amount for intangible asset-related investments surged 18.8 percent on-year to 11.99 trillion won.

In contrast, capital spending by the companies was reduced by 11 percent to 101.24 trillion won, down from the previous year's 113.8 trillion won.

Overall investments made by the conglomerates last year stood at 148.54 trillion won, down 6.4 percent on-year. The spending covers money invested in facilities, R&D and a rise in the value of intangible assets.

Of the businesses assessed, Samsung Group, South Korea's largest family-run conglomerate, spent a combined 50.4 trillion won in investments to take up 33.9 percent of the total.

Among the group's affiliates, Samsung Electronics Co., the world's No. 1 handset maker, invested 38.7 trillion won, or 76.8 percent of all money spent by the conglomerate as a whole.

SK Group trailed with a combined investment reaching 25.26 trillion won last year, followed by LG's 16.45 trillion won and Hyundai Motor Group's 15.5 trillion won. (Yonhap)