SEOUL, March 14 POSCO's new chief
executive said the steelmaker will shy away from expanding
manufacturing capacity for the time being, and raise cash by
selling non-core assets and by listing some affiliates - a
marked break with the strategy set by his predecessor.
"I will take the bold step of shedding non-core businesses,"
Kwon Oh-joon told an annual meeting of POSCO shareholders on his
first day on the job.
"POSCO will not pursue fresh investments aimed at
quantitative growth, and instead focus on downstream investments
aiming at boosting value," he said in a separate statement,
noting that the global steel market is suffering from serious
His predecessor, Chung Joon-yang, who led POSCO for five
years, spearheaded investments and acquisitions that left the
steel giant with high debt levels, leading to a series of rating
cuts by credit rating agencies.
POSCO will also restructure its materials and energy
businesses, and focus on lithium, nickel, fuel cells and clean
coal, said Kwon, a former POSCO chief technology officer.
POSCO, which is backed by billionaire investor Warren
Buffett, said in January it would reduce investment by 14
percent this year as it sees flat revenue growth. It has posted
three consecutive years of profit declines.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)