SEJONG-- Insider stock ownership of family-run conglomerates, such as Samsung and Hyundai Motor, jumped sharply this year to 58.9 percent, the country's antitrust watchdog said Thursday.

According to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), the insider stock ownership rate of the 57 conglomerates rose 29 percentage points this year from last year's 29.9 percent.

Insider stock ownership refers to stocks held by the owner and his or her immediate family and top executives of companies affiliated with a business group. This includes stakes held by subsidiaries and related financial firms.

Twelve public firms whose insider stock ownership is very low were excluded from the tally.

The conglomerates are subject to a set of restrictions, including a ban on cross-shareholding and loan guarantees among subsidiaries. Under a revised antitrust law, business groups with 10 trillion won (US$9.23 billion) in assets or more are categorized as conglomerates by the FTC and put on the watchlist for those restrictions.

Business groups with 5 trillion won in assets or less are also required to report details on their ownership structure.

The FTC said that, of the 1,980 subsidiaries belonging to the 57 conglomerates, 13.2 percent, or 261, were listed on the local stock exchange, and their combined capital base amounted to 63.2 trillion won.

Source: Yonhap News Agency