S.Korea's overseas direct investment hit record high in Q1

SEOUL, May 18 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's overseas direct investment hit a new quarterly high in the first quarter as demand increased for investment into the U.S. information service and broadcasting communication industries, a government report showed Thursday.

Overseas direct investment reached the record high of 10.71 billion U.S. dollars in the January-March quarter, up 30.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

The investment into overseas countries continued to grow from 8.23 billion dollars in the first quarter of last year to 9.83 billion dollars in the fourth quarter.

Investment into the United States more than doubled compared with a year earlier due mainly to investment into the broadcasting communications and information services industry and the wholesale and retail sector.

Those to Vietnam rose 4 percent on investment into manufacturers, while direct investment into Singapore posted a double-digit increase on investment into the real estate and rent industry.

Investment into China, South Korea's largest trading partner, logged a double-digit decline due to a reduction in investment into manufacturers.

By industry, the first-quarter increase in overseas direct investment was led by the wholesale and retail sector, and the broadcasting and communications industry, but demand for investment into the manufacturing, finance and real estate sectors weakened in the first quarter.

The ministry forecast that this year's overseas investment would expand given the big corporations' plan to raise merger and acquisitions (M&A) and extend business abroad.

It said positive factors emerged such as economic recovery in major countries and higher raw material prices, but the ministry cautioned about the protectionist moves and the expected interest rate hikes in major economies.

[ Editor: Xueying ]


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