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SK rises to No. 2 Korean company by assets

SK Group's logo at it headquarters in central Seoul. (Yonhap)
SK Group's logo at it headquarters in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

Semiconductor-to-telecom conglomerate SK Group has stepped up as the country’s second-largest business group in terms of assets, market data showed Wednesday.

SK Group, which has the largest number of affiliates in the country, 176, has been the country’s third-largest since 2006. 

According to market tracker CEO Score data on conglomerates’ assets as of third quarter last year, SK Group’s assets came at 270.7 trillion won ($226 billion) as of Q3 last year, which went up by 13 percent or 31.2 trillion won on-year. 

The country’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Group slipped one slot to third with 250 trillion won of assets, up by 1.6 percent on-year. 

Samsung kept its top rank with 457.3 trillion won of assets last year. Its assets have inched up in value by 2.3 percent from 2020. The group owns a total of 60 affiliated companies. 

Following Hyundai Motor Group was LG Group with 154.4 trillion won of assets and Lotte Group with 112.9 trillion won of assets, staying in the same fourth and fifth slot respectively from a year ago. 

Companies that have went through restructuring also outshined. 

Hanjin Group, which owns the country’s largest air carrier Korean Air and will soon incorporate the No. 2 air carrier Asiana Airlines, saw its assets expand by 47.4 percent to 49.5 trillion won, moving up two slots to 12th. 

The country’s third-largest constructor Jungheung Group also jumped 26 slots to 21st, with its assets ballooning 115.9 percent to 19.8 trillion won after acquiring Daewoo E&C last year. 

IT firms continued to build up its wealth. The country’s leading IT firms Kakao and Naver were ranked as the 17th and 24th largest group by assets respectively, both climbing one and three ranks over a year. 

Kakao managed to procure capital by debuting its financial services Kakao Bank and Kakao Pay in the stock market last year, increasing its assets 27.8 percent to 25.4 trillion won. 

Naver’s assets increased by 24.3 percent to 16.8 trillion won, mainly coming from issuing corporate bonds worth 1.6 trillion won for the establishment of data center and global fund to invest in startups. 

By company, SK’s chipmaking unit SK Hynix saw the largest increase in assets with 17.7 percent rise to 75.4 trillion won, backed by record-high performance last year, as well as surplus created after acquiring Intel’s SSD business and Dalian NAND Flash Manufacturing Facility assets in China.

Samsung Electronics saw 4.8 percent increase in their assets to 11.2 trillion won. 

SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics were the only firms with assets increase above 10 trillion won, according to CEO Score.

By Kim Da-sol (
Korea Herald daum