[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 , 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:
5 Hyundai (but now 4 separate businesses)
5 LG/GS: four Koos and a Huh
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
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Email: _afostercarter at aol.com_ (mailto:afostercarter at aol.com) (alt)
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The Top 40
Friday April 27  , 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,
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
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
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
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
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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