[KS] South Korea's top 40 rich list

Afostercarter at aol.com Afostercarter at aol.com
Tue May 1 08:12:25 EDT 2007

Forbes Korea has just published this very  useful list,
with thumbnail sketches, of what it would  doubtless
be unkind - despite Hanwha, Hyundai, SK et  al -
to call South Korea's filthy rich. (Certainly  unfair to
the Kiturami Boiler Culture Foundation [13],  whose
thousands  of annual scholarships were news to me.)
Lest anyone doubt the persistence of the  chaebol, 
over half (22) are family scions of just four  groups:
9     Samsung 
5     Hyundai (but now 4  separate businesses)
5     LG/GS: four Koos  and a Huh
3     Lotte
So in the endless quest to fund Korean  studies,
now you know who to tap. (NB too that at  least one
is an ex-academic, while three made their  fortunes
in education - albeit not higher  education.)
It makes you think.
May Day greetings to one and  all,
Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology &  Modern Korea, Leeds 
Home address: 17 Birklands Road,  Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3BY, UK  
tel:  +44(0)  1274  588586         (alt) +44(0) 1264 737634          mobile:  
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Email: _afostercarter at aol.com_ (mailto:afostercarter at aol.com)      (alt) 
_afostercarter at yahoo.com_ (mailto:afostercarter at yahoo.com)       website: 
_www.aidanfc.net_ (http://www.aidanfc.net/)  
[Please use @aol; but if  any problems, please try @yahoo too – and let me 
know, so I can chide  AOL] 
Forbes  Magazine
The Top 40
Friday April 27 [2007] , 1:12 pm  ET 
By Steven  Lee  
All things  considered, it was a decent year for South Korea's wealthiest 
citizens.  The nation's stock market took a hit last June on fears of a U.S. 
slowdown  and has been in recovery mode ever since. Today the benchmark Kospi 
index stands  at 1500, up 9% from a year ago and up 29% from June 2006. 
The top 40 richest  are worth a collective $36 billion, up $5 billion from 
last year and $15 billion  since our inaugural 2005 list. A net worth of $405 
million was required, $60  million more than last year.  
Samsung's Lee  Kun-Hee and Hyundai's Chung Mong-Koo remain the first- and 
second-richest  individuals, though both saw their fortunes slip. Chung has 
bigger problems;  he's currently out on bail appealing a three-year prison sentence 
after being  found guilty of embezzling company money. His lawyers claim the 
cash was used  for employee morale boosting activities.  
His brother Chung  Mong-Joon, the list's only politician, saw a big jump in 
his fortune thanks to  the stock performance of shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy 
Industries, in which he has a  large stake. The five-term assemblyman is being 
wooed by Grand National Party  presidential hopefuls looking to land a wealthy, 
influential backer.  
South  Korea is home to nine billionaires, up from six  last year, including 
Suh Kyung-Bae, chairman and chief executive of cosmetics  company 
The four newcomers  include Cha Yong Keu, a former Samsung executive who made 
his fortune in copper  mining in Kazakhstan; Kim Jun-Ki, the son of a 
well-known politician who founded  his own business almost 40 years ago; Sull 
Yoon-Suk, the list's youngest member  at 26, who inherited his fortune from his 
father who died in 2004; and Chung  Yoo-Kyung, whose father gave her some of his 
own shares in Shinsegae retailer.  Her brother Chung Yong-Jin moved up 11 spots 
this year to No. 10, thanks to an  even larger gift from Dad. The family 
subsequently paid $370 million as gift  tax, setting a national record.  
A notable dropoff  was Kim Ta ck-Jin, the founder of NCsoft, who fell off 
because of his online  gaming outfit's faltering stock.  
Our wealth  statistics were compiled using disclosed stock holdings of listed 
companies; for  privately held companies we estimate what companies would be 
worth if listed.  Stock prices and exchange rates were locked in on Apr. 13. 
Unlike the FORBES  billionaires list, which included the wealth of Lee 
Kun-Hee's wife, Hong Ra-Hee,  in his fortune, this list breaks out all individuals.  
List by Steven Lee. Assisted by FORBES KOREA, Suzanne  Nam and Chaniga 
1. Lee Kun-Hee $2.32  billion 65. Married, 3 children  
Has run Samsung, South  Korea's largest conglomerate, for 2 decades.  Its 
Samsung Electronics accounts for close to a fifth of nation's exports.  Samsung 
affiliates include country's largest insurance companies. Lee owns most  
expensive home in Seoul, according to tax authority.  International Olympic 
Committee member, has skied for several years and recently  went skiing in 
Pyeongchang, in part to support South Korea's  bid for 2014 Winter Olympics.  
2. Chung Mong-Koo $2.29  billion 69. Married, 4 children  
Hyundai Motor chairman is out on bail after being sentenced in  February to a 
3-year prison term on embezzlement charges. Remains chairman while  
appealing. Apparently won court approval in April for overseas business trips.  
Received nation's biggest dividend check last year.  
3. Shin Dong-Bin $1.9  billion 52. Married, 3 children  
Younger son of Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-Ho. Serves as vice  chairman of 
the conglomerate, which has stakes in retailing, food,  petrochemicals and 
theme parks. Group recently bought 51% of cable shopping  company Woori Home 
Shopping, then got into ugly legal fight with 47%  stake-holder Taekwang Group, 
led by chairman Lee Ho-Jin (No. 34), over control.  
4. Jay Y. Lee $1.85  billion 39. Married, 2 children  
Son of Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee (No. 1). Promoted to chief  customer 
officer of Samsung Electronics in January; works as an internal  advocate for 
customers while building strategic alliances with partner  companies. There is an 
ongoing investigation involving his acquisition of a 25%  stake in Samsung 
Everland from his father at alleged below-market rates.  
5. Shin Dong-Joo $1.84  billion 53. Married, 1 child  
Oldest son of Shin Kyuk-Ho (No. 23) is vice president of Lotte  Japan and 
lives in Tokyo. Sits on boards of  Lotte Chilsung Beverage, Lotte Hotel and Lotte 
6. Chung Mong-Joon $1.8  billion 55. Married, 4 children  
Son of Hyundai's founder is the largest shareholder of world's  largest 
shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries, whose shares have more than  doubled in the 
past year. But politics not business is his passion: a 5-term  national 
assemblyman, ran unsuccessfully for president in 2002; now is  reportedly being 
wooed as a backer by the 2 Grand National Party presidential  hopefuls, including 
Seoul's mayor. Member of FIFA's executive committee.  
7. Lee Myung-Hee $1.79  billion 64. Married, 2 children  
Korea's richest woman is Lee  Kun-Hee's younger sister. Chairs fast-growing 
retailer Shinsegae, which bought  Wal-Mart (NYSE:_WMT_ 
(http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=wmt)  - _News_ (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/h?s=wmt) )'s South Korean 
stores last year. Has joint venture with  Starbucks (NasdaqGS:_SBUX_ 
(http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=sbux)  - _News_ (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/h?s=sbux) ) to 
operate its 200-plus coffee shops in  South  Korea. Company is family affair: 
husband is  honorary chairman, son is vice chairman, daughter works in the 
hotel group.  
8. Cha Yong Keu $1.4  billion 51. Married, 2 children  
Former Samsung executive stepped down as chief executive of  copper mining 
giant Kazakhmys in December. Cashed out his stake over last 8  months for 
estimated $1.4 billion. (Click here for story)  
9. Suh Kyung-Bae $1.1  billion 44. Married, 2 children  
Heads cosmetics company Amorepacific, which controls one-third  of South  
Korea's market. Grew up next door to company's  headquarters and was the only one 
of 6 siblings to take an interest in the  business built by his father, Suh 
Sung-Whan. Joined Amorepacific in 1980s after  earning an M.B.A. from Cornell 
University. Facing tougher rivals,  slowdown at home, but consumer shift to 
premium cosmetics may help offset woes.  
10. Chung Yong-Jin $975  million 39. Divorced, 2 children  
Only son of Shinsegae Chairwoman Lee Myung-Hee is the retailer's  vice 
chairman. In September his father gave him Shinsegae shares, helping to  boost his 
fortune. In April the family paid approximately $370 million to the  tax 
authority, setting a national record for gift tax.  
11. Shin Chang-Jae $950  million 54. Married, 2 children  
Once a professor at Seoul National University, he joined Kyobo Life, which  
his father founded, as vice chairman in 1996. Now chairman, is focusing on  
improving profitability of group, South Korea's third-largest life  insurance 
outfit. In February sold 5% stake to Japan's SBI  Holdings.  
12. Chang Pyung-Soon  $945 million 56. Married, 2 children  
Sold books door-to-door in early 1980s. Eventually founded  Kyowon Group, now 
one of South Korea's largest educational  companies. Has 4 subsidiaries, 
including Kyowon L&C Co., which employs more  than 10,000 teachers, 200 editors 
and 30,000 salespeople. Has expanded into  water purifiers, bidets, cosmetics 
and underwear.  
13. Choi Jin-Min $930  million 66. Married, 5 children  
Founder and honorary chairman of privately held Kiturami, South  Korea's 
largest boilermaker, producing more than 2 million a year. Makes 300  products, 
including air conditioners and gas-leak alarms, which are sold in 18  countries. 
Founded Kiturami Boiler Culture Foundation, which grants scholarships  to 
thousands of students each year.  
14. Chey Tae-Won $810  million 47. Married, 3 children  
SK Group chairman. Convicted of accounting fraud in 2003; spent  3 months in 
jail, then returned to helm. In apparent move to improve corporate  
governance, announced plans to split into 2 companies; one will hold its  oil-related 
subsidiaries including nation's largest refiner, the other will hold  SK 
Telecom, nation's biggest wireless telecom, and SK Shipping. Enjoys playing  
basketball with his kids on weekends.  
15. Huh Chang-Soo $805  million 59. Married, 2 children  
Chairman of GS Holdings, which split from LG Group in 2004. GS  has 
businesses in cable, chemicals, construction and oil. Known as the "hermit  manager" 
because of his low profile.  
16. Kim Seung-Youn $800  million 55. Married, 3 children  
Heads explosives  maker Hanwha. His father, the group's founder, was 
nicknamed "Dynamite Kim."  Also has interests in trading, finance, construction and 
insurance. Set up  Hanwha  Environment Research Center to develop eco-friendly 
products.  His son won gold medal in equestrian dressage at 2006 Asian Games. 
[AFC  adds: Currently accused of assault, kidnapping and more: see eg  
(http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/nation_view.asp?newsIdx=2084&categoryCode=117)   ] 
17. Yoon Seok-Keum $790  million 62. Married, 2 children  
Founder and chairman of Woongjin Group, maker of educational  books, air and 
water purifiers, and traditional Korean beverages. Latest venture  reportedly 
involves making components for solar panels. He also owns interest in  a 
country club. Got start as an encyclopedia salesman.  
18. Kang Young-Joong  $720 million 58. Married, 2 children  
Heads Daekyo group, one of country's biggest providers of  after-school 
private education. Name means "big lesson." A few months ago bought  online 
education firm Fermat Ed.  
19. Lee Jay-Hyun $715  million 47. Married, 2 children  
Grandson of Samsung founder Lee Byung-Chull chairs Cheil Jedang  (CJ), 
originally Samsung's food-services arm. Recently signed deal to enter  China's tofu 
market. Expanding into  entertainment, home shopping, logistics.  
20. Hong Ra-Hee $700  million 62. Married, 3 children  
Wife of Korea's richest man, Lee Kun-Hee, and director-general  of Leeum, 
Samsung Museum of Art, funded by the Samsung Foundation of Culture.  Her brother 
runs one of the nation's biggest newspaper companies, JoongAng Ilbo,  whose 
affiliates include FORBES KOREA.  
21. Koo Bon-Moo $670  million 62. Married, 3 children  
Heads $91 billion (2006 sales) LG Group, South  Korea's second-largest 
chaebol, which is  celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Avid golfer, 
22. Chung Mong-Jin $665  million 47. Married, 2 children  
Heads chemical giant KCC, founded in 1958, which makes paints,  glass, 
building materials and flooring. Operates in a dozen countries. His  father is 
Hyundai founder's youngest brother.  
23. Shin Kyuk-Ho $660  million 85. Married, 3 children  
Oldest list member, got start selling chewing gum. Eventually  built Lotte 
Group, which includes retail, fast food, sports teams, candy,  hotels, theme 
parks. Remains chairman. Took Lotte Shopping public last year in  nation's 
biggest-ever public offering not involving sale of state assets.  Attempting to 
build South  Korea's tallest building, perhaps as a last  hurrah. Already 
transferred much of his wealth to his 2 sons, now billionaires.  
24. Park Moon-Deuk $650  million 57. Married, 2 children  
Chairs Hite Brewery, South Korea's largest brewer. Stock  has stagnated 
lately as initial euphoria fades over its 2005 acquisition of  Jinro, nation's 
largest liquormaker.  
25. Chung Mong-Gyu $645  million 45. Married, 3 children  
Chairman of construction firm Hyundai Development, founded by  his late 
father. Benefiting from booming housing market. Convicted of  embezzlement late 
last year, fined $30,000; has appealed.  
26. Kim Nam-Goo $640  million 44. Married, 2 children  
Largest shareholder and president of Korea Investment Holdings,  a listed 
financial services company. His father, who founded predecessor  company, is said 
to have ordered Kim to spend 6 months on a fishing boat to  learn the 
original family business of fishing.  
27. Koo Bon-Neung $620  million 58. Married, 1 child  
Heads Heesung Group, which sells display components to LG, run  by his older 
brother, Koo Bon-Moo. Allowed his brother to adopt his only son,  who now 
works at LG Electronics.  
28. Kim Jung-Joo $590  million 39. Married, 2 children  
Founded online gaming outfit Nexon in 1994. Best known for  car-racing game, 
Kart Rider. Recently inked strategic partnership with MTV, is  making forays 
into U.S. and  Japan.  
29. Chung Eui-Sun $560  million 37. Married, 2 children  
Oldest son of Hyundai Motor chairman, Chung Mong-Koo (No. 2), is  president 
of Kia Motors. Investigated last year on suspicion of creating slush  funds to 
bribe officials; his indictment was suspended. With his father,  announced 
plans to donate stakes in affiliated logistics company Glovis, at  center of 
scandal. Still haven't given away the shares, now worth about $740  million.  
30. Lee Joon-Yong $540  million 69. Married, 5 children  
Runs Daelim Industrial, a diversified construction company also  involved in 
petrochemicals. Recently awarded contract to build polycarbonate  plant in 
Saudi  Arabia, reportedly worth $1 billion.  
31. Koo Bon-Joon $500  million 56. Married, 2 children  
Third son of LG Group honorary chairman Koo Ja-Kyung. Recently  stepped down 
as chief executive of LG Philips LCD, LG's troubled joint venture  with Dutch 
electronics giant Philips. Now runs LG International, a trading  company 
affiliated with LG Group.  
32. Koo Bon-Sik $495  million 49. Married, 3 children  
Fourth son of LG Group honorary chairman Koo. Heads LG affiliate  Heesung 
Electronics, which supplies backlights to illuminate LCD displays.  
33. Moon Kyu-Young $480  million 56. Married, 2 children  
Chairman of privately held concretemaker Aju, which also has  holdings in 
storage, car rental, finance, hotels.  
34. Lee Ho-Jin $475  million 45. Married, 2 children  
Chairman of Taekwang Group, with interests in textiles,  petrochemicals, 
finance, media. Battling Lotte's Shin family for control of  Woori Home Shopping.  
35. Chung Yoo-Kyung $470  million 35. Married, 2 children  
Only daughter of Shinsegae head, Lee Myung-Hee. Father gave her  $320 million 
worth of retailer's shares last September. The family later paid a  record 
gift tax. Has stake in a profitable bakery. Husband works for Shinsegae.  
36. Sull Yoon-Suk $450  million 26. Married, 1 child  
Youngest list member inherited shares in Taihin Electric Wire  Group, one of 
country's largest cablemakers, from late father, Sull Won-Ryang,  who died in 
2004. Has no management role.  
37. Kim Jun-Ki $430  million 62. Married, 2 children  
Son of a former deputy speaker in the Korean parliament, Kim  founded a 
construction company at age 24 with 2 employees and the equivalent of  $25,000. 
Today heads sprawling $9 billion group (2004 sales) with 18 affiliated  companies 
in steel, chemicals, financial services. [This is Dongbu –  AFC] 
38. Lee Boo-Jin $410  million 37. Married, no children  
Lee Kun-Hee's oldest daughter is vice president of  Samsung-affiliated Shilla 
Hotel in Seoul.  
38. Lee Seo-Hyun $410  million 34. Married, 3 children  
Lee Kun-Hee's second daughter is vice president of Samsung-  affiliated Cheil 
Industries, a textile and chemical company.  
40. Cho Yang-Rai $405  million 70. Married, 4 children  
Chairs Hankook Tire group, world's seventh-largest tiremaker. On  a roll: 
sales grew 20% last year to $3 billion, the highest growth rate of any  of the 
world's top 10 tiremakers. Has operations in China, Europe and U.S. Cho's son is 
married to  the daughter of Seoul's mayor, who is now running for  president. 

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