Daesung, the Korean conglomerate that invested $510,000 (W600m) in Park Chan-Wook's hit thriller Old Boy, has decided to set up a media investment fund in partnership with the Korean Film Commission (KOFIC) and a trio of industrial groups

The new fund will have some $8.2m (Won10bn) at its disposal for investment in films, concerts and computer games, the company said yesterday.

The fund will be managed through Daesung's venture investment arm BiNEXT HiTEC . Company spokesmen said that more than two-thirds of the investment will go into film.

"We launched the entertainment fund in order to diversify our business portfolio by seeking opportunities in high value-added culture businesses.," said Kim Young-hoon, chairman of Daesung Group Global Energy Network. "We expect our participation to bring greater stimulus to the growing Korean movie industry."

Daesung put up $1.27m (W1.5bn) of the fund, the Small Business Corporation another $2.54m (W3bn), KOFIC $1.7m (W2bn), Mediaplex $2.12m (W2.5bn) and Kdmedia $850,000 (W1bn).

Daesung followed its investment in the $5m Old Boy, which has exceeded two million admissions in its first three weeks on release, with the announcement of a joint venture with producers EGG Films and Keyweck Shidae (ScreenDaily.com 25 May 2003).

"The entertainment segment has huge business potential. In addition, the culture industry can help enhance the national image, as you can see from the increasing popularity of Korean music and films in China and Southeast Asia," said BiNEXT HiTEC President Chung Jin-ho.