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Over half of South Korea's listed firms had deteriorating financial health in 2022

Over half of South Korea's major listed companies saw their financial health deteriorate in 2022 due to high global interest rates, inflation, and the Korean won's weakness against the US dollar. Data from the Korea Exchange showed that the debt-to-equity ratio of 56 out of 106 listed companies belonging to the country's top 10 business groups increased last year from a year earlier. 21 companies had a debt ratio of 200% or higher. Analysts say that most companies saw their financial soundness deteriorate due to a drop in cash holdings from sluggish business amid unfavourable macroeconomic indicators. Insurance and securities affiliates of those conglomerates had high debt ratios due to increased evaluation losses from bond holdings. These businesses need to make efforts to improve their financial health, according to experts.


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