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South Korea's 600 largest businesses plan to increase investments by 12.1
percent to a record 140.8 trillion won (US$123.9 billion) in 2012 to bolster
their overall competitiveness, a poll showed Tuesday.
The survey conducted by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) showed local businesses plan to inject large amounts of money into research and development (R&D), and various facility investments.
Facility-related investment is expected to rise 10.9 percent on-year to 112.74 trillion won, with R&D to jump 16.9 percent to more than 28.02 trillion won, the lobbying group for the country's large businesses said.
"Many companies said they are stepping up investments to enhance competitiveness down the line and to enter new business areas," the FKI said.
Of the total, manufacturing businesses are expected to account for 66.3 percent of all planned investments this year, up 11.3 percent vis-a-vis 2011, with non-manufacturing sector investment increasing 13.6 percent to make up 33.7 percent of the total.
Investment in manufacturing will be centered on electronic parts, autos, chemicals, steel and nonferrous metals. Non-manufacturing sector investments are to be focused on utilities, communications, information technology services, construction, broadcasting and so-called knowledge industries.
The FKI said 72.2 percent of businesses polled said they plan to come up with the funds internally, with 18.7 percent saying they will have to borrow money, with 0.6 percent considering the selling of stocks.
In addition, the FKI said 260 companies said they plan to increase investment this year, with 130 considering a move to cut back spending.
The latest findings, meanwhile, showed that in 2011, investments by large companies topped 125.6 trillion won, a 6.9 percent gain from the year before. Investment in the manufacturing sector gained 3.6 percent on-year, while non-manufacturing rose 14.3 percent.