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South Korean families reap stock market rewards

Investors in two of South Korea’s largest family-owned conglomerates are likely reaping big rewards, thanks to shares in Samsung and Hyundai reaching record values this weekend.
Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, has seen his stock rise in value by around 25%

Investors in two of South Korea’s largest family-owned conglomerates are likely reaping big rewards, thanks to shares in Samsung and Hyundai reaching record values this weekend.

According to Yonhap News Agency, stock held by Lee Kun-hee and his family in Samsung Group rose to around 13 trillion won (€8.61 billion) on Sunday (25 March).

Citing data by Cheabol.com, the report said share value was up by 25.4% compared to last year, largely due to a “bullish stock market”.

Lee’s direct stake in the business saw him become the first person in South Korea to own stock valued over the 10 trillion won mark, said the report.

Samsung Group, which is the largest South Korean family-controlled conglomerate, or chaebol as they are popularly known, was founded by Lee’s father, Byung-chull, in 1938.

Lee (pictured) is chairman of the group’s flagship Samsung Electronics, while third-gen and heir-apparent Jae-yong serves as chief operating officer – he reportedly holds stock worth more than 1 trillion won.

Besides Samsung, investors in another South Korean family business, automobile giant Hyundai Motor Group, also saw the value of their shares rise.

Stock held by Chung Mong-koo, his son Eui-sun and other family members in the carmaker rose to 9.7 trillion won, up by around 10% on 2010, said Yonhap News Agency.

One of South Korea’s largest chaebols, Hyundai Motor Group was the result of a split in the Hyundai conglomerate between the two Chung brothers. While Mong-koo leads the carmaking division, Hyundai Group was headed by his brother Mong-hun until 2003 when he committed suicide.

The firm is currently led by his wife, Hyun Jeong-eun, who was one of CampdenFB’s Top 50 Family Business Leaders this year.

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