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Over 10 pct of S. Korean firms to undergo restructuring in 2013: poll
SEOUL, Nov. 15 (Yonhap) -- More than 1 out of 10 South Korean companies plan to cut jobs, sell their assets and pull out of some businesses next year as part of their attempts to overcome economic difficulties, a poll showed Thursday.

   The survey of 433 major companies taken by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) found that 15 percent of the respondents were considering restructuring their operations in the coming year.

   Another 36 percent plan to slash investment next year, citing worsening economic situations at home and abroad and uncertain economy policy.

   "The restructuring move, if carried out, is likely to deal a further blow to the local economy," said the FKI, which represents the interests of South Korea's family-controlled conglomerates, known as chaebol.

   The survey also showed that 62 percent said next year's economic conditions would get worse, compared with this year. Only 9 percent said the situations would get better next year.

   In the latest sign of a pessimistic economic outlook, 60 percent said the country's economy could grow around 2 percent next year, compared with 3.2 percent estimated by the central bank.

   The survey said 88 percent said the next government should make economic revitalization as its top priority. Only 8 percent supported political parties' call for "economic democratization," which refers to overhauling the country's sprawling conglomerates.

   Chaebol have played a key role in transforming South Korea into Asia's fourth-largest economy from the ashes of the 1950-53 Korean War, though they have long been at the center of public criticism over their perceived abuse of economic power and wealth concentration.

   entropy@yna.co.kr
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