Number of holding companies rises to 162: FTC

The number of holding companies in South Korea increased by 22 over the past year, official data showed Wednesday.

A total of 162 holding firms were registered with the Fair Trade Commission (FSC), a state anti-trust body, as of September this year.

It marks the greatest on-year rise since the holding company system was introduced here under a fair trade law.

But the number of holding companies affiliated with large business groups on the FTC's watchlist dropped to 20 from 30 a year earlier.

South Korea revised its antitrust law in June to put some restrictions on conglomerates with 10 trillion won (US$8.8 billion) or more in assets, which include a ban on cross-shareholding.

As of September, only eight local conglomerates on the list retained their governance structure after switching to a holding company system -- SK, LG, GS, Nonghyup, Hanjin, CJ, Booyoung and LS.

The families of the heads of the conglomerates owned an average of a 48.6 percent stake in their groups, according to the FTC.

The average assets of 162 holding firms came to 1.52 trillion won (US$1.3 billion), slightly down from 1.59 trillion won posted a year earlier.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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