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Nearly half of S. Korea's public firms lose money in 2021

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Nearly half of public institutions in South Korea lost money in 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic with the state-run power monopoly logging the biggest loss on soaring oil prices, data showed Tuesday.

A total of 170 public companies and institutions, or 47 percent of 363 that disclosed their 2021 results, were in the red last year, according to the data posted on the state portal All Public Information in One (ALIO).

The state utility Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) registered the largest operating loss of 5.8 trillion won ($4.54 billion) in the wake of high international crude prices.

It was KEPCO's biggest operating loss ever and marked a sharp turnaround from a 4.1 trillion-won operating income in 2020 that stemmed from low oil costs.

Hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Incheon International Airport Corp. posted the second-biggest operating loss of 930 billion won, followed by the Korea Railroad Corp. with 888 billion won and the Korea Racing Authority 418 billion won.

In contrast, the Korea Land & Housing Corp., the state housing developer, recorded the biggest operating income of 5.6 trillion won last year on the back of the buoyant real estate market in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The Korea Ocean Business Corp. came next with an operating profit of 4.9 trillion won, trailed by the Industrial Bank of Korea with 3.2 trillion won.

The National Health Insurance Service, the operator of state health insurance, posted an operating income of 2.2 trillion won year, up sharply from a 28 billion-won operating profit a year earlier and a loss of 4.3 trillion won in 2019. (Yonhap)

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