Hyundai Motor poised to start move to Kepco site

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Hyundai Motor poised to start move to Kepco site

Hyundai Motor Group said Friday it will move about 1,000 employees from its six affiliates to the headquarters building of state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, in the first half of the year.

Hyundai Motor said the relocation is in response to concerns the local economy might suffer after Kepco moved to Naju, South Jeolla, in December.

Hyundai Motor, led by Chairman Chung Mong-koo, bought the Samseong-dong land for 10.5 trillion won ($10 billion) in September and plans to develop a car industry hub, including a new 105-story headquarters building on the 79,432-square-meter (19.6-acre) site. The company also wants to turn the space into a cultural landmark with a global business center, a hotel and a convention center based on Volkswagen’s Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany.

The moving process starts Monday with 70 employees of auto parts maker Hyundai Wia, followed by Hyundai Glovis and Dongbu Steel employees working in the Seoul office later in the month.

Hyundai Powertech, Hyundai Engineering and Hyundai Steel will also move to Samseong-dong in the first half of the year.

According to Hyundai Motor, ownership for the Kepco land and headquarters building will be transferred after payment is completed in September. “As part of a plan to help the local economy [in Samseong-dong], we decided not to run a dining hall,” said a spokesman of Hyundai Motor. “We are also discussing how to utilize space we will have after ownership is handed over.”

Standard and Poor’s has adjusted the credit rating on three companies of Hyundai Motor Group - Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis - from BBB+ to A-. It was the first time the group’s three major companies have been assigned to A grade together by one of the three biggest credit-rating agencies in the world.

S&P said the adjustment was made because the three companies were able to maintain high profitability despite many obstacles, including a strong Korean won. It added that the companies have the financial flexibility to react to unstable economic conditions and are expected to strengthen their financial structure based on market-leading profitability.

BY KWON SANG-SOO [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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