The Korea Herald


Public firms to sell assets worth W20tr by 2027: lawmaker

By Kim Yon-se

Published : Oct. 21, 2022 - 16:06

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Signboard of the Finance Ministry at Government Complex Sejong (Yonhap) Signboard of the Finance Ministry at Government Complex Sejong (Yonhap)
SEJONG -- South Korea’s public firms are poised to sell off assets, including real estate and stocks -- worth more than 20 trillion won ($14 billion) -- over the next five years, state data showed Friday.

According to the combined innovation plan, which was handed over to Rep. Koh Yong-jin of the Democratic Party of Korea by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the nation’s 350 state-run firms were planning to dispose of assets worth 22.5 trillion won by 2027.

Assets to go up for sale include properties located in pricey Seoul districts such as Gangnam-gu, Seocho-gu and Yongsan-gu.

In its report to the Finance Ministry, the Korea Racing Authority said it would put its land in Seocho-gu up for sale at 138.5 billion won in 2024, and its office in Yongsan-gu at 98 billion won in 2025.

The Korea District Heating Corp. was seeking to sell its land in Gangnam-gu for 50 billion won in 2025.

The combined assets of the 350 firms, to be disposed of in the coming five years, are worth 13.8 trillion won. As they also plan to sell stakes worth 8.6 trillion won in their subsidiaries, the total planned sale target exceeds 20 trillion won.

By ministry, public firms -- which are under administrative control by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport -- accounted for the largest portion in the sale project, as they are poised to sell off 8.9 trillion won worth of land, buildings and shares.

Among the next in the list were firms controlled by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, with targeted assets worth 1.5 trillion won, and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, with assets worth 1 trillion won.

Public firms under the control of the Financial Services Commission topped the list in terms the scale of stock sale schemes. They are seeking to dispose of 6.8 trillion won worth of shares in their subsidiaries.

While their sale plans were initiated by the Finance Ministry in a bid to raise fiscal soundness, main opposition lawmaker Koh said they “could see a great loss by selling core properties or shares in their business units with high growth potential.”

He cited the case off the Korea National Oil Corp., which had sold its building and later paid some billion won to rent offices in the same building.

By Kim Yon-se (