Korea’s overseas direct investment plunged in the first quarter from a year earlier due to a base effect, government data showed on June 12.
Investments made by Korean companies in other countries totaled US$9.61 billion in the January-March period, compared with US$13.4 billion a year ago, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. This is also a 5.2 percent on-quarter slump.
During the first quarter of last year, massive overseas takeovers by Korean firms led a sharp increase in direct investment.
Samsung Electronics purchased US audio and automotive electronics firm Harman International Industries for US$8 billion, as part of its strategy to diversify its business portfolio.
Also, Netmarble Games took over the Vancouver studio of US-based Kabam in a deal estimated to be worth up to 1 trillion won ($900 million).
The data showed investment into the US, the biggest investment destination for Korean money, declined 75.6 percent on-year to US$1.85 billion in the first quarter, while the figure for Vietnam more than doubled to US$1.08 billion over the cited period.
By sector, offshore investments in the financial and insurance sector rose 20.9 percent on-year to reach US$3.21 billion, while those allocated to the overseas property sector spiked 48.2 percent to US$1.1 billion, the latest findings showed.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (email@example.com