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       South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group to invest $21.6 billion over 5 years: Finance ministry
 
         Posted on :18:46:03 Jan 17, 2018
   
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       Last edited on:18:46:03 Jan 17, 2018
         Tags: South Korea, Hyundai Motor Group, Finance min
 

SEOUL: Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest about 23 trillion won ($21.56 billion) over the next five years in areas such as electric cars, self-driving automobiles and artificial intelligence, South Korea's finance ministry said on Wednesday.

The announcement comes as South Korea's second-largest conglomerate, which also includes Kia Motors, is foraying into newer growth areas after its sales slumped last year due to an inadequate product line-up in the United States and diplomatic tensions with China.

Hyundai Motor Group will also target hiring about 45,000 people for the next five years, the ministry said in a statement after Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon's visit to Hyundai Motor earlier on Wednesday.

Besides electric and self-driving cars, the planned 23 trillion won will also include investments into fields such as batteries and hydrogen energy, as well as start-ups, the ministry said.

A Hyundai Motor Co spokeswoman confirmed the hiring plan but did not comment on the investment sum. She said the statement was discussed with the company beforehand.

"Global trends are changing fast," Hyundai Motor Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun said, according to the statement. "We will recruit better, top-level talent in these new businesses and develop them going forward."

Hyundai Motor said earlier this month it had invested in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab, as it seeks to expand into the region to reduce its reliance on China following a damaging diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing.

Finance Minister Kim also said on Wednesday authorities will leave foreign exchange rates to market participants but take action if needed.

The won was trading down 0.3 percent at 1,065.8 per dollar as of 0442 GMT. Currency dealers have suspected foreign exchange authorities of engaging in intervention to slow the won's rise.

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