] Korea’s six conglomerates are still relying heavily on cross-shareholding to strengthen their owner families’ control over the affiliates, a report by chaebol business tracker showed on June 26.
The combined assets of the 1,259 affiliates under the top 30 business groups reached 1,642.5 trillion won ($1,447.7 billion) as of June 26, according to the report by Chaebul.com which cited each company’s latest regulatory filing. More than one third of their assets, or 35 percent, were created in cross-shareholdings, which could not be invested for business operation.
Korean conglomerates are often criticized for abusing owner families’ power over affiliates through cobweb-like intra-group shareholdings.
Six groups -- Booyoung, Lotte
, Hanwha, NongHyup and LS Group – relied more than 50 percent of their assets on cross-shareholding.
Booyoung, a local building giant, had the highest proportion of 80 percent, followed by retail giant Lotte with 65 percent and the nation’s largest poultry producer Harim with 59 percent, according to the report.
Among the top 30 conglomerates, 23 with owner families had 39 percent of assets in cross-shareholding, which is three times higher than the remaining seven firms’ reliance on cross-sharing at 13 percent.
The largest group Samsung’s
proportion of assets in cross-shareholding out of the total was reduced to 28 percent with latest restructuring of businesses, which was below the average of 30 groups at 35 percent, the report said.
By Kim Yoon-mi/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org