Investing In... South Korea
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South Korea’s 10 Biggest Companies

Market cap:  $165.2 billionPE: 10.9Samsung Electronics is the world’s biggest technology firm by revenue, and by far the largest listed company in South Korea. Its market cap is more than three times bigger than the closest rival — Hyundai Motor — No. 2 on the list.The company is the flagship subsidiary of South Korea’s biggest business conglomerate — Samsung Group, which has nearly 80 affiliates. The family-run group has a significant impact on South Korea’s economy, accounting for about one fi

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1. Samsung Electronics

Market cap: $165.2 billion
P/E: 10.9

Samsung Electronics is the world’s biggest technology firm by revenue, and by far the largest-listed company in South Korea. Its market cap is more than three times larger than the closest rival — Hyundai Motor.

It was founded in 1969 and is the now the world’s biggest maker of memory chips, smartphones and televisions.

Samsung Electronics is the flagship subsidiary of South Korea’s biggest business conglomerate — Samsung Group — which has nearly 80 affiliates. The family-run group has a significant impact on South Korea’s economy, accounting for about one fifth of the country’s GDP.

The firm’s second quarter profit is estimated to have hit a record $5.9 billion, powered by strong sales of its flagship Galaxy brand of smartphones. It has also launched an online music service to compete head on with Apple’s iPhones.

Samsung Electronics is the only stock among South Korea’s top-10 companies to rise the last 12 months to July 10, gaining 27.2 percent. About 30 out of 52 analysts polled by Reuters think the company will outperform; 21 say it’s a buy.

Pictured: J.K. Shin, president of mobile communications for Samsung Electronics, presents the Galaxy S III smartphone at a launch event.

Photo: SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images