The KABC Hybrid Korea Business Forum
Chaebol evolution 2020 to 2025
8.00am – 10.00am, Thursday 16 June 2022 at Online Seminar Room and Sansoo Room, LL Grand Hyatt Seoul
Our June KBF session to be held on June 16th is an exploration of how the chaebol have changed and their recently announcements of investment plans. Based on KFTC’s data as usual, this reveals that there are now 76 groups classed as chaebol,up from 65 a year ago, and that three former chaebol have departed in the past year. There are some significant gains amongst a large number of chaebol, big and small.
As reported in Yonhap, SK has overtaken Hyundai in size of assets (KFTC’s measure of the chaebol) but lies well behind in terms of sales.(KABC’s measure). LG has moved up closer to SK in terms of sales, despite losing a group of companies to a scion of the LG family.
The gap in revenue between the big four and the second five has increased, with the exception of POSCO now the leader of the pack. Nonghyup, GS, Hanwha and Lotte have all levelled up to almost equal size in sales.
In 2020 27 groups had revenue of over 10 trillion won. 25 groups had had sales above that benchmark figure for the previous four years. But in 2021 this number had risen to 33 groups. All of this indicates the wealth of the top chaebol grew significantly during the later covid era.
Of the new groups who have entered the list, it is the second year for Coupang at no 16 and for Hyundai Marine and Fire Insurance at 19. The KG group returns at number 50. Other than these three companies, only at number 56 do we meet a new entrant Nongshim and seven more between position 57 and 76. Of the departed only IMM, KInvestment Finance Group and Daewoo Construction are the significant losses of 2021.
This is our twenty sixth year of reviewing the chaebol and their position in the Korean industrial and service ecosystem and some of the results are surprising. We hope you can join us, either on line or in person on the 16th of June to discuss these changes.
Tony Michell Ph.D
Managing Director, KABC Ltd.
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