Korea Has 25 Trillionaires

      October 11, 2011 09:35

      Twenty-five Koreans own more than W1 trillion worth of assets, up six from last year, according to a list of the 400 wealthiest people in Korea released by business news site Chaebul.com on Monday (US$1=W1,170).

      New in the top 10 are two self-made businessmen -- Park Hyeon-joo, an investment guru and chairman of Mirae Asset Financial Group, and Kim Jung-ju, the CEO of online gaming firm Nexon's holding group NXC. Park ranked sixth with W2.47 trillion, up from 14th last year. His assets grew by W1.28 trillion over the past year. Kim jumped from 39th to eighth with W2.34 trillion. 

      Nineteen of the trillionaires are from the owner families of big conglomerates. They include eight members of the Lee clan that owns Samsung, and three members each of the Hyundai and LG owner families.

      From left: Park Hyeon-joo, Kim Jung-ju, Ahn Cheol-soo, Chin Dae-je, and Lee Soo-man

      Many new entrants in the top 200 saw their wealth grow sharply, including Software tycoon Ahn Cheol-soo, former minister of information and communication Chin Dae-je, and K-pop impresario Lee Soo-man.

      Ahn’s assets grew from W70.7 billion (292nd) last year to W135.4 billion (198th) this year. Ex-minister Chin increased his fortune to W342.6 billion (81st) by founding an investment company with seed capital from salary and stocks he received when he worked for Samsung Electronics. Fila Korea chairman Yoon Yoon-soo, who bought golf club and accessories brand Acushnet, ranked 48th with W470.7 billion.

      In the entertainment industry, Lee of SM Entertainment topped the list with W186.5 billion (146th). Yang Hyun-suk, the CEO of YG Entertainment and former member of Seo Tai-ji and Boys, ranked 308th with W83.9 billion.

      To compile the list, Chaebul.com added the net value of stocks of 1,813 listed and 14,289 unlisted companies, dividends and real estate.

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