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  • Mar 23, 2015


Top 10 Korean Businesses in the World

Previously, we have written various articles about the Japanese, Korean and Chinese businesses and websites in the world. These include:

In this article, we provide an updated list of the top Korean businesses in the world today. A total of 61 Korean companies are ranked on the Forbes Global 2000 Leading Companies list in 2014. Although the number of ranked companies has decreased since 2003, overall ranking positions generally increased. Below is an outline of some of the companies ranked on the list.

The Achievement of Hyundai Motor Group

After the financial crisis in 2008, Hyundai Motor Group began expanding overseas with a strong focus on the small vehicle market. As a result, Hyundai Motor Group became the world’s fifth largest automotive manufacturer, and three of their affiliated companies were ranked.

Hyundai Motor (No. 87) – Hyundai Motor is the only global Korean company to rank with Samsung Electronics within the top 100 in the list.

KIA Motors (No. 258) – After it was acquired by Hyundai Motor Group in 2001, KIA Motors has grown significantly in the global automobile market.

Hyundai Mobis (No. 267) – Hyundai Mobis is an automotive supplier and offers vital components to Hyundai Motor and KIA.


In contrast to the achievement of Hyundai Motor Group, some Korean companies did not fare as well after the financial crisis. One example is LG Group and its subsidiaries. LG Electronics is ranked no. 766 and LG Corp is ranked no. 833 on the Global 2000 list.

Posco (No. 236) – Posco is the fifth largest steel manufacturer in the world, but their revenue and assets have continued to stagnate after 2008.

The Semiconductor Market

As smartphones and tablets became widely adopted, Korean semiconductor companies also saw exceptional growth.

Samsung Electronics (No. 22) – Owing to the success of the Samsung Galaxy series, the Korean electronics giant has grown rapidly. Samsung currently holds a twenty percent share of the worldwide smartphone market.

SK Hynix (No. 439) – SK Hynix is a Korean memory semiconductor supplier and the world’s second largest memory chipmaker.

Insurance and Financial Institutions

Samsung Life Insurance (No. 356) – Samsung Life Insurance is the largest insurance company in Korea and a subsidiary of the Samsung Group. This company most aggressively seeks overseas expansion among all Korean insurance companies.

Shinhan Financial Group (No. 249) – Shinhan Financial Group provides commercial and consumer banking financial and investment services.

KB Financial Group (No. 370) – KB, a subsidiary of the KB Financial Group, is among the four largest banks by both asset value and market capitalization in Korea.

Hana Financial Group (No. 457) – Hana Financial Group contains seven business divisions. Korea Exchange Bank, a subsidiary of the Hana Financial Group, is a specialized foreign exchange bank in Korea.

Top 10 Korean Businesses in the World

Rank (Korea/Global) Company Type of Industry Sales Profits Assets Market Value
1 / 22 Samsung Electronics Semiconductors $208.9 B $27.2 B $202.8 B $186.5 B
2 / 87 Hyundai Motor Auto & Truck Manufacturers $79.8 B $7.8 B $126.4 B $49.7 B
3 / 236 Posco Iron & Steel $56.5 B $1.2 B $80 B $24.8 B
4 / 249 Shinhan Financial Group Investment Services $19.6 B $1.7 B $295 B $21.1 B
5 / 258 KIA Motors Auto & Truck Manufacturers $43.5 B $3.5 B $34.3 B $22.8 B
6 / 267 Hyundai Mobis Auto & Truck Parts $31.2 B $3.1 B $32.6 B $28.7 B
7 / 356 Samsung Life Insurance Life & Health Insurance $21.8 B $0.7 B $182.8 B $18 B
8 / 370 KB Financial Group Investment Services $15.8 B $1.2 B $276.5 B $13.7 B
9 / 439 SK Hynix Semiconductors $12.9 B $2.6 B $19.8 B $24.9 B
10 / 457 Hana Financial Group Banking $13 B $0.8 B $279.7 B $10.6 B

 Written by: Kibo Sim

Picture by: Doug Sun Beams


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