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Korea’s KIC, Hyundai to invest 1 trillion won in global tech firms

KIC
By Hui Ching-hoo   
March 26, 2021

Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) and Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, the largest shipbuilder in South Korea, plan to jointly invest as much as 1 trillion won (US$883 million) in foreign technology companies.

The investments will focus on ship autopilot, fuel cell and energy systems, artificial intelligence and robotics, and digital healthcare, and will be made through mergers and acquisitions of promising startups, KIC says in a statement on March 24.

The sovereign wealth fund describes the co-investment pact as “a bid to step ahead in global competition for future technologies and strengthen national competitiveness”.

KIC Chief Executive Choi Hee-nam notes that Hyundai has decades of experience in innovations in the shipbuilding and energy industries.

“Its expertise will add great value to our research and investment capabilities in the sectors,” he says in the statement.

Choi adds that KIC will continue to explore co-investment opportunities with local companies and financial institutions to help them expand in global markets.

A KIC spokesperson tells Asia Asset Management that this is the wealth fund’s first partnership with Hyundai. She declined to give details on the breakdown of the 1 trillion won investment.

Last July, KIC and Korea’s National Agricultural Cooperative Federation formed a $400 million joint venture for global private equity investments.

KIC had $157.3 billion of total assets under management as of end-2019.