A South Korean retail giant has shelved controversial expansion plans, while a large bank made hundreds of contract jobs permanent after President Moon Jae-in took office vowing to reform the family-run conglomerates that dominate the economy.

The 64-year-old liberal leader campaigned on a platform of curbing the power of the conglomerates, or chaebol. On Wednesday, he nominated an economist nicknamed "chaebol sniper" for his shareholder activist campaigns as head of the antitrust regulator.

Moon has yet to spell out his reform agenda, and the fractured parliament, controlled by conservative and moderate politicians, would likely only support modest changes, given the chaebol's outsized role in the economy.