South Korean Inc.’s offshore direct investment in the first quarter shrank 28 percent against a year-ago period when Samsung Electronics Co. signed a $8 billion deal to take over U.S. automotive electronics maker Harman International.
According to data released by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance on Tuesday, Korea’s remittance for foreign direct investment in the first three months this year amounted $9.61 billion, down 28.3 percent from the same period last year when the figure reached a record high of $13.4 billion.
Early last year, Samsung Electronics acquired U.S. car infotainment company Harman International for $8 billion, the largest-ever cross-border M&A deal in Korean Inc.’s history. Also, the country’s top online game developer Netmarble Games Corp. took over U.S. Kabam, Inc.’s Vancouver Studio, for nearly 1 trillion won ($931 million).
Against the previous quarter, Korea’s outward direct investment shrank 5.2 percent.
The Korean Inc.’s outward direct investment in the first quarter still hovers above the quarterly average of the recent three years at $9.42 billion.
By sector, finance and insurance companies made up the largest 33.4 percent of the country’s total outward direct investment in the first quarter. Manufacturers’ foreign direct investment took up 24.8 percent, followed by real estate with 11.6 percent, construction with 7.9 percent, and engineering service with 4.6 percent.
The largest share of Korean capital investment went to Asia with a share of 38 percent, followed by Europe with 22.9 percent, North America with 20.6 percent and Central/South America with 13.8 percent.
The United States under Trump administration with protectionist policy towards imports drew the most, taking up 19.3 percent of Korea’s total foreign direct investment remittance volume in the first quarter. Vietnam followed next with 11.2 percent while the United Kingdom trailed behind with 10.5 percent, Hong Kong 7.9 percent, Cayman Islands 7.4 percent, and China 6.9 percent.
By Lee Yu-sup and Cho Jeehyun
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