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Big SK five come under financial scrutiny

Chaebols to get rough treatment from banks this week

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Pressure on South Korea’s top five chaebols to divest their businesses is increasing this week, according to local English-language paper the Korea Herald. According to the reports, creditor banks and accountancy companies will this week compile a list of subsidiaries of Hyundai, Samsung, Daewoo, LG and SK which should face the axe. After the organisations have put the list together, they will talk with the chaebols and discuss restructuring the subsidiaries if possible, although they will also ask for liquidations and mergers if necessary. Government agencies have insisted that the top five put together such plans by the end of September. The president of Korea has repeatedly pressed three of the chaebols, Hyundai, LG and Samsung, to swap some of their businesses. That comes amidst accusations from chip manufacturers in both Europe and the US that the three are dumping DRAM at a price below cost. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Communication in Seoul said that it is to introduce a venture investment fund for IT companies, worth 10 billion won. Of that figure, 4.5 billion comes from the government, four billion from LG Venture and 1.5 billion from other, unnamed investors.

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