A commentary on Korean global business and popular culture.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Korean Big Business Market Capitalization
There are many ways to rank Korea's top business groups (chaebol). In terms of size, Samsung Group and Hyundai-Kia Motor Group top the list. This chart looks at recent changes in market capitalization. With the economy, I see no real surprises.
Korea's bricks-and-mortar industries have waned in the midst of the global financial crisis but high-tech and auto-making businesses showed resilience on the Seoul bourses.
According to the Korea Exchange (KRX), Monday, the world's top shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries saw its market capitalization dwindle 13.31 percent from 21.36 trillion won at the end of last August to 18.52 trillion won last Friday.
The global No. 4 iron-maker POSCO also suffered a 7.86 percent loss in the market value over the 10-month period from 41.95 trillion won to 38.66 trillion won.
``Among the nation's 10 leading conglomerates, bricks-and-mortar businesses experienced setbacks. In other words, the financial tsunami mostly swept traditional companies,'' a KRX official said.
``Hyundai Heavy and POSCO were the major victims. In addition, the airline industry was hit hard as demonstrated by KumhoAsiana Group and Hanjin Group,'' he said.
Hanjin, which holds Korea's No. 1 flag carrier Korean Air under its arm, faced a 17.13 percent decline in its market capitalization, the biggest downturn among the top 10 players.
Kumho, the parent company of Korean Air's cross-city competitor Asiana Airlines, faced a similar fate as the group's market value slid 12.08 percent.
In particular, KumhoAsiana languished last year in the midst of the credit crunch due to its leveraged buyouts of Daewoo Engineering & Construction and Korea Express.
The nation's ninth-largest chaebol eventually signed a corporate restructuring pact of late with its main creditor ― the state-run Korea Development Bank ― and it may have to sell off Daewoo.
Also included in the underachievers' list is the Lotte Group, which leads the distribution and beverage industries. Its value depreciated by 3.76 percent.