70% of economic power in Seoul

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70% of economic power in Seoul

More than 7 in 10 Korean listed companies are headquartered in Seoul and its vicinity, pointing to the excessive concentration of wealth in the capital area, data showed Friday.

The overconcentration of economic power is feared to deepen the regional economic gap, necessitating the need for measures to induce companies to move their main offices out of the Seoul metropolitan area for balanced regional growth.

According to the data by the Korea Exchange, 72.3 percent of the 1,947 companies listed on the country’s stock market, or 1,408 firms, were based in Seoul, the adjacent province of Gyeonggi and the western port of Incheon city as of Wednesday.

Of the total headquartered in the Seoul metropolitan area, 545 companies were listed on the main Kospi market, with the remainder registered with the secondary, tech-heavy Kosdaq market.

Seoul hosted 809 companies (41.6 percent), including Samsung Electronics and top automaker Hyundai Motor. Gyeonggi followed with 532 firms (27.3 percent) and Incheon with 67 corporations (3.4 percent.)

In terms of market capitalization, the economic concentration in the capital area was even larger. The companies headquartered in the Seoul metropolitan region had a combined market capitalization of 1,420 trillion won, accounting for nearly 86 percent of the total market value.

Among regional cities and provinces, the southeastern port of Busan hosted the most listed companies at 85, trailed by South Gyeongsang Province with 76 and South Chungcheong Province with 75. The country’s southern resort island of Jeju came last with only nine firms based there. YONHAP

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