CEOs in Korea most skeptical of economy in East Asia survey, prefer overseas capex

2020.01.08 13:55:56 | 2020.01.08 13:56:25

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Korean business leaders were more skeptical about the global and domestic economic outlook than their counterparts in Japan and China and more tilted towards spending capital outside than home, according to a cross-border survey by three newspapers in East Asia.

In a survey on 314 CEOs in the three countries by Maeil Business Newspaper, the Nikkei and Global Times, 26 percent of Koreans expected sharp or steady deterioration of the global economy this year, showing deeper pessimism than Chinese with 12 percent and Japanese with 18 percent.

Koreans businessmen were also more pessimistic about their own economy, with 26 percent expecting worsened condition this year. The ratio was lower at 13 percent in Japan and 7 percent in China.

Koreans were also most unhappy about current business condition – negative 47 percent versus 25 percent of Japan and 11 percent of China.

Among Korean entrepreneurs, 30 percent plan to increase capital expenditures in Korea and 47 percent in overseas. CEOs in Japan and China were more generous about capital spending in their home country with 39 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

About 41 percent of Korean leaders answered they won’t seek mergers and acquisitions this year. Those in Japan (64 percent) and China (36 percent) were looking out for opportunities.

CEOs of each country were most concerned about the trade tensions between the U.S. and China as the biggest risk. The second biggest threat was sluggish domestic consumption for Koreans, while Japanese and Chinese CEOs worried more about slowed economic growth in China.

By Jung Wook, Kim Dae-gi, Ko Bo-hyun, Jin Young-hwa and Lee Ha-yeon

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]