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FTC delays chaebol list due to Hanjin confusion

May 09,2019
Korea’s antitrust body will delay its announcement on this year’s list of the country’s largest conglomerates and their de facto chiefs as Hanjin Group has yet to tell the regulator who heads the conglomerate.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said Wednesday that its annual report on large conglomerates will be made on May 15, five days later than planned.

The corporate regulator said the postponement was made as Hanjin Group is still undecided on who holds control over the conglomerate following the death of late chairman Cho Yang-ho last month. The FTC designated Cho as chief last year.

The postponement adds concerns over the Cho family’s management of Hanjin Group, which has effective control over the country’s largest air carrier Korean Air.

While the late chairman’s son, Cho Won-tae, was recently named the group’s new chairman, he holds a relatively small stake in the group’s holding unit Hanjin Kal.

As of the end of last year, the Cho family held a 28.95 percent stake in Hanjin Kal. The late chairman held the largest stake at 17.84 percent, with Cho Won-tae at 2.34 percent. The new chairman’s sisters hold similar stakes in the company - Cho Hyun-ah at 2.31 percent and Cho Hyun-min at 2.30 percent. It is unclear how the inheritance process of the late-chairman’s shares will proceed.

The FTC announces a list of conglomerates worth more than five trillion won ($4.27 billion) and their de facto heads every year.

Last year, 60 conglomerates made the list.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]