The KABC Second Chance Korea Business Forum

Chaebol evolution 2020 to 2025

8.00am – 9.30am, Monday 27 June 2022 at Online Seminar Room

Dear member,

Our June KBF second chance session will be held on June 27th and is a second chance to explore 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 71 a year ago.  So three former chaebol have departed in the past year and nine joined the largest being Nongshim at no 56.  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 forming the LX group.

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.  The biggest jump is Joonghung Construction which jumped from no 61 to 27 by acquiring Daewoo Construction.  HMM jumped from 36 to 22.

Of the new groups who have entered the list, it is the second year for Coupang up from 21 to 16 and for Hyundai Marine and Fire Insurance at 19.  The KG group returns at number 50.  Other than these three companies,  seven new entrants take positions between 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 on line on the 27th of June to discuss these changes.

Yours sincerely

Tony Michell Ph.D
Managing Director, KABC Ltd.


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    Published On: June 20th, 2022 / Categories: Event, KABC Second Chance KBF, Korea Business Forum /

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