The number of business group affiliates subject to restrictions on mutual investments and loan guarantees fell in July, the antitrust watchdog said Friday.
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said the number of firms on its watch list stood at 1,674 as of Friday, down 12 from the 1,686 tallied on July 1. All firms belong to the country's 61 largest business groups.
A total of 13 companies were added, with 25 being removed as they were merged with other affiliates or sold off.
Lotte, Hanwha, Kumho Asiana, LG, SK and Hyosung had more companies on the FTC's updated list, while Samsung, Hyundai Motor Group and KT had fewer.
Of those added, three new companies were set up during the month and five were added because conglomerates bought stakes in existing firms.
Under South Korea's fair trade law, affiliates of large business groups with assets of 5 trillion won (US$4.27 billion) or more are restricted from making equity investments or offering loan guarantees to one another.
These rules are in place to prevent large companies from expanding their areas of business indiscriminately and to make certain they do not expose themselves to risks by overreaching their capabilities.