Just one out of seven companies trading on Korea’s main Kospi market has been involved in businesses related to the fourth industrial revolution over the past decade.
According to local think-tank the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) on Thursday, only 20 firms out of 132 companies listed on the Kospi market excluding financial institutions among the top 300 companies by sales last year added tech-related operations to their business purposes in the articles of association from 2008 to 2018. It means just 15 percent of them newly entered the fast-emerging tech industry such as autonomous driving, robot, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) over the last decade.
Most of the firms added self-driving and drone businesses, but none had fintech, 3D printing and block chain operations in their articles of association. Instead, many companies added education, e-commerce and renewable energy operations, meaning that most of the Korean firms have still remained focused on traditional businesses, the KERI said.
More than half of trading firms, daily supplies manufacturers, service companies and petrochemical firms included educational services in their articles of association. Companies engaging in IT business including Naver, SK, Kakao and Samsung SDS and 10 retailers put e-commerce operations in their list of businesses. Construction and energy companies mostly added renewable energy business.
The companies placed an average of 38 business purposes in the articles of association as of last year, up 52 percent from 10 years ago with 25. Most of them newly entered telecommunications, energy and steel businesses over the past 10 years as part of efforts to find new growth engines in the emerging industries to overcome business slowdown, according to the KERI.
By Kim Yeon-joo and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]