SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of Korean billionaires whose asset value is in excess of 1 trillion won (US$965 million) was 35 as of the end of July this year.
According to Chaebul.com, the website tracking the performance of business groups and their owners (“chaebul” means conglomerate in Korean), based on a survey on 1,883 publicly listed firms and 21,280 privately held firms with assets over 10 billion won, as well as stocks and real estate property holdings owned by their large shareholders and chief executives, the total assets of top-400 individuals were estimated at 183,929 billion won (US$177.5 billion). The average assets held by each one of the 400 richest persons were 459 billion won ($443 million).
Of these, the number of “super-rich” was 35. The top-ten richest persons all consisted of those who inherited their fortunes from parents. Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung Group, was ranked No. 1 with his holdings, including stocks in publicly listed and privately held companies and the estate in Seoul’s Hannam-dong, estimated at 13,287 billion won.
Following him was Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo with 7,644 billion won. The third-richest person in Korea was Lee Jae-yong, the 46-year-old son of Lee Kun-hee who has been groomed for leading Samsung Group after Lee Sr., whose personal fortune is estimated at 5,179 billion won including the shareholdings in privately held companies such as Samsung Everland and Samsung SDS.
Chung Eui-sun, the scion of Hyundai’s Chung founding family, was ranked No. 4 with 4,462 billion won in assets. Suh Kyung-bae, AmorePacific Group chairman, was ranked the fifth richest person in Korea after the cosmetic company’s share price rose rapidly recently.
The ranks from sixth to tenth were filled by SK Group chairman Chey Tae-Won (3,050 billion won), Kyobo Group chairman Shin Chang-jae (2,237 billion won), Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-Bin (2,192 billion won), CJ Group chairman Lee Jae-hyun (2,156 billion won), and Lotte Group (Japan) vice chairman Shin Dong-joo (1,969 billion won).
In contrast, there were ten self-made billionaires on the list. Booyoung Group chairman Lee Joong-keun was ranked 12th with 1,810 billion won in estimated assets. It was then followed by Kim Jung-Ju, chairman of NXC Inc., the holding company of online gaming company Nexon, with 1,472 billion won. Other self-made business tycoons included Lee Hae-Jin of Naver (1,346 billion won), Kim Taek-Jin of NCsoft (1,214 billion won), Kim Beom-Soo of Kakao Inc. (1,158 billion won), Lee Joon-Ho of NHN Entertainment (1,035 billion won).
By Sean Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org)