Corporate M&As up 48.7 pct in H1

SEOUL-- South Korea's antitrust regulator said Sunday the value of corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&As) jumped 48.7 percent on-year in the first half, led by deals by large business groups.

Corporate deals were valued at 221 trillion won (US$191 billion) in the January-June period, up 72.4 trillion won from the previous year, according to the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC).

The total number of corporate M&As rose 15.3 percent on-year to 489, it added.

Under the country's fair trade law, merger deals sought by companies whose total assets or sales top 300 billion won are subject to the regulator's review, when they seek to buy firms whose assets or sales exceed 30 billion won.

The increase was mainly attributed to M&As of non-affiliate companies by large business groups as they sought corporate deals to diversify business portfolios and secure new engines for growth.

M&As pursued by larger firms, which have assets worth 5 trillion and more, were valued at 23.2 trillion won in the first half, up 160.7 percent from a year earlier, the KFTC said. The number of such deals soared 87 percent on-year to 196.

Corporate mergers by domestic companies rose 18.5 percent to 422, while those by foreign firms declined 1.5 percent to 67.

M&As in the service sector came to 334, accounting for 68.3 percent of total corporate deals. In the manufacturing industry, corporate deals reached 155 in the first half, the commission said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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