South Korea’s SK Group continues to deepen investment in Vietnam

SK Group, one of the largest companies in South Korea, and its subsidiaries continue to bolster investment in Vietnam across various fields.

SKC Co. Ltd. (SKC), a subsidiary of the SK Group, has received an investment certificate to develop a high-tech biodegradable materials factory in the northern port city of Hai Phong.

With the total investment capital of $500 million, the factory specialises in producing biodegradable materials such as polybutylene adipate terephthalate and polybutylene succinate.

The project spreads across an area of 32,089 square metres in the Haiphong I DEEP C Industrial Zone in the Dinh Vu-Cat Hai Economic Zone.

In the first phase, the project will start construction in mid-December 2023, slated to be completed within nine months. The project is expected to reach an output of 35,000 tonnes by year-end. In the second phase, the company will increase the total output to 70,000 tonnes per year.

Woncheo Park, CEO of SKC under SK Group said, “SK Group has invested about $3 billion in Vietnam over the past five years. Currently, Hai Phong is one of the countries with the most modern infrastructure and good investment attraction. That’s why we decided to invest in the locality.”

“SKC will bring modern technology here to produce biodegradable materials here and lay the foundation for our first investment in Hai Phong. We will continue to call for more South Korean businesses to invest in Hai Phong.”

In June, SKC announced that it had signed a MoU with leaders of Haiphong People’s Committee to explore potential investments in advanced materials for secondary batteries, semiconductors, and other green sectors.

SKC’s project is the first direct investment by SK Group in Vietnam, which has been one of the most active buyers in Vietnam’s merger and acquisition market. The group invests across various fields, including retail, consumer goods, pharmacy retail, pharmaceuticals, and others.

In 2018, SK spent approximately $470 million buying 110 million Masan treasury shares. In April 2021, it paid $410 million for a 16.26 per cent stake in Masan Group’s VinCommerce (currently renamed WinCommerce). In the same year, SK also spent $340 million to scoop up a 4.9 per cent stake in Crown X, a consumer retail platform of Masan Group.

SK also invests $100 million in Vietnam’s pharmacy retail chain Pharmacity. As of the first quarter of 2023, the group had acquired 64.79 per cent of pharmaceutical firm Imexpharm.

In addition, SK Energy, another subsidiary of SK Group, holds more than a 5 per cent stake in PV Oil, worth about $30 million.

The expansion of SK and its subsidiaries reflects the importance of the Vietnamese market. In 2018, SK invested $500 million to establish SK Southeast Asia Investment with the aim of being a potential growth engine in Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam.

Vietnam Investment Review