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Samsung heirs top Korea's stock-rich list

By
Kim Hye-ran, UPI News Korea
After Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee (C) died in October, his son Lee Jae-yong (L, second row) became the richest South Korean businessman in terms of stock wealth, followed by Lee Kun-hee’s wife, second from left in the second row, and his two daughters on his flank. Photo courtesy of Samsung Group
After Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee (C) died in October, his son Lee Jae-yong (L, second row) became the richest South Korean businessman in terms of stock wealth, followed by Lee Kun-hee’s wife, second from left in the second row, and his two daughters on his flank. Photo courtesy of Samsung Group

SEOUL, May 6 (UPI) -- Heirs of Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee topped South Korea's most stock-rich people list thanks to the massive wealth they inherited after Lee died last year, according to the Korea CXO Institute.

The Seoul-based business tracker said Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong became South Korea's richest business person in terms of stock wealth, with values reaching $8.5 billion as of the end of April.

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Lee Jae-yong, the only son of the late Chairman Lee, saw his stock wealth almost double this year because of inherited shares in Samsung subsidiaries.

Lee Jae-yong received half of his father's stake in Samsung Life Insurance to become the insurer's largest individual shareholder with a stake of 10.44 percent, Samsung said in a regulatory filing on Friday.

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Lee Jae-yong also inherited shares of other Samsung affiliates to become the de-facto chief of Samsung Electronics, the world's largest chipmaker, due to the group's cross-shareholding structure.

However, Lee Jae-yong is serving a 30-month prison term for bribing former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who is also behind bars for corruption-related charges.

The second most stock-rich person on the list was Lee Jae-yong's mother, Hong Ra-hee, who has $10.2 billion. Hong's wealth also surged thanks to her inheritance of Samsung shares from her husband.

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Along the same line, Lee Jae-yong's younger sisters, Lee Bu-jin and Lee Seo-hyun, were third and fourth on the list, with $6.94 billion and $6.43 billion respectively.

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Eui-sun took the eighth place with $3.33 billion, followed by his father, Chung Mong-koo, who has $5 billion.

The heirs ultimately knocked two notable business people off the list: Hybe founder Bang Si-hyuk, whose entertainment label manages BTS, and Coupang CEO Bom Kim.

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"Hybe failed to meet the minimum capital requirement for our survey, while Coupang was excluded because it went public this year in New York," Korea CXO Institute CEO Oh Il-sun told UPI News Korea. "If they are included, Coupang's Kim would compete with Samsung family members for top spots, while Hybe's Kim would be around the number 10 spot."

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