Korea Has Only 4 Self-Made Billionaires

      October 05, 2010 10:48

      There are 19 tycoons in Korea whose cash assets total more than W1 trillion (US$1=W1,124), but only four of them are self-made and did not hail from wealthy families.

      Chaebul.com, which provides information on Korea's family-oriented conglomerates, on Monday published an evaluation of the stocks and cash assets of the top shareholders of 1,799 listed companies and 13,589 unlisted firms. It found that four people -- Lee Min-joo, chairman of private investment company Atinum Partners, NCsoft CEO Kim Taek-jin, Mirae Asset chairman Park Hyeon-joo and Lock&Lock chairman Kim Joon-il -- are self-made billionaires with more than W1 trillion in assets.

      From left, Lee Min-joo, Kim Joon-il, Kim Taek-jin and Park Hyeon-joo

      Lee of Atinum Partners, whose wealth greatly increased from the sale of cable TV operator C&M, holds W1.54 trillion worth of assets, while Kim of NCsoft is worth W1.28 trillion. Mirae Asset's Park owns W1.18 trillion and Lock&Lock's Kim W1.02 trillion. But their assets paled in comparison to the wealth of the owners of Korea's major business conglomerates, who include the country's top 10 wealthiest tycoons.

      Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee is the richest person in Korea with W8.73 trillion in assets. Coming second is Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo with W6.57 trillion, followed by Grand National Party lawmaker Chung Mong-joon (W2.69 trillion), Lotte Group vice chairman Shin Dong-bin (W2.37 trillion) and Hyundai Motor vice chairman Chung Eui-sun (W2.34 trillion).

      Rounding out the top 10 are Shin Dong-joo, vice president of Lotte Japan, SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won, Shinsegae Department Store chairwoman Lee Myung-hee, Samsung Electronics vice president Lee Jae-yong, and Amore Pacific president Suh Kyung-bae.

      Around 400 people in Korea have more than W46.5 billion in private assets, and 216 more than W100 billion. Chaebul.com said it derived the ranking based on the value of the stakes individuals held in listed and unlisted companies as of Sept. 30 as well as the value of stocks they sold and the dividends they received.

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