167,000 Koreans Worth More Than W1 Billion

A total of 167,000 people in Korea had over W1 billion in financial assets alone as of last year (US$1=W1,014).

Their average financial assets were worth W2.21 billion, totaling a staggering W369 trillion that account for 14 percent of all the financial assets owned by Korean households, according to a report by KB Financial Group Research Institute on Thursday.

Most of the rich live in Seoul with 47.3 percent (79,000) or in surrounding Gyeonggi Province with 19.3 percent (32,000). Some 7.6 percent live in the southern port city of Busan.

In Seoul, Gangnam had the highest number of wealthy individuals (12,300), followed by Seocho (9,600), Songpa (7,800) and Yangcheon (4,500). Seongnam in Gyeonggi Province and Haeundae in Busan also had a high concentration of nabobs.

But the report showed that real estate took up the largest portion of the assets of the rich with 54.1 percent, and financial assets only came second with 39.6 percent. Other assets such as art works and club memberships accounted for 6.3 percent.

Wealthy Koreans cited real estate as the most promising investment.

The research institute also surveyed 600 rich Koreans and found that 78 percent feel they are not rich, while 65 percent said a person has to be worth at least W10 billion to be considered rich.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 11, 2014 12:20 KST