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THE INVESTOR

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Mirae Asset's Park Hyeon-joo richest "unlisted" man in Korea

  • PUBLISHED :March 02, 2017 - 17:52
  • UPDATED :March 02, 2017 - 21:56
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[THE INVESTOR] There are quite a few among Korea’s richest 100 people who remain under the radar by refusing to own listed stocks. 

The Superich Team analyzed financial data including public announcements from the Financial Supervisory Service and corporate registers to combine both the listed and unlisted stocks of the country’s richest 100 people. 
For the families of the country’s top 10 conglomerates, their real estate value were also factored in.

Deal values between affiliates, acquisition costs of the ownership families, total ownership interest and capital were some of the ways the team measured unlisted assets. The results were significantly different from existing lists of Korea's richest.  

The team found three individuals among the top 10 of the country's Richest 100 who held entirely unlisted stocks found to be worth several trillion won. In most cases, their firms are mature enough to be listed, but the owners choose to remain unlisted due to the weakening of managerial control and difficulty in collecting funds. 


Mirae Asset founder Park Hyeon-joo


The richest "unlisted" Korean is Mirae Asset Financial Group Chairman Park Hyeon-joo, 59, who ranked sixth on the list. He was the first to bring in mutual funds to the Korean stock market and led the trend of indirect investment.

Park’s personal assets are comprised of his shares in Mirae Asset Global Investments (60.19 percent), Mirae Asset Consulting (48.63 percent), and Mirae Asset Capital (34.32 percent). The value of his unlisted stocks, estimated by his shares and total ownership interest as listed on the audit report, was worth at least 3.6 trillion won.

Kyobo Life Chairman Shin Chang-jae, 64, followed suit. Listed 7th on Korea’s Richest 100, his stock asset portfolio is simple. He is the largest shareholder of Kyobo Life with close to 6.9 million shares (33.78 percent) and his stock was worth 2.8 trillion won calculated by total ownership interest as of 2015.

On the other hand, Booyoung Group Chairman Lee Joong-keun’s stocks are much more complex, being dispersed into eight sectors: Booyoung; Gwang Young Construction; Namyang Development; Dongkwang Housing; Namkwang Construction; Booyoung Finance; and Booyoung Housing Management. He ranked 8th on the list, and the value of his stocks was around 2.7 trillion won.

Kyowon Group Chairman Chang Pyung-soon, 66, was 23rd on the list. His unlisted stocks, including Kyowon and Kyowon Kumon, are worth at least 1.2 trillion won. There were other leaders within the top 50 that only held unlisted stocks. They include Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin (worth 926.2 billion won, ranked 33rd), E-land Group Chairman Park Sung-su (916.6 billion won, 34th), and Smilegate CEO Kwon Hyuk-bin (890.6 billion won, 38th).

Kwon, 43, was chosen by Forbes as one of “The World’s Billionaires” in 2016. Forbes estimated the value of his assets to be around $3.7 billion, an 890 billion won difference from that tallied by the Superich Team. Unlike the Superich Team that has calculated the results in the most conservative way through shares and total ownership interest, Forbes also included the valuation that may appear once Smilegate Holdings, which is 100 percent owned by Kwon, becomes listed as well as the intellectual property that its globally popular game Crossfire owns.

Meanwhile, there were also those that were bumped up to higher ranks when their ownership of unlisted stocks were added.

Kakao Chairman Kim Beom-su, 51, is the largest shareholder of Kakao with 12.6 million shares (18.55 percent). Additionally, he holds 100 percent shares of unlisted company K Cube Holdings, the second largest shareholder of Kakao (14.8 percent). His stocks of Kakao were worth 1.7 trillion won, but when adding his shares of K Cube Holdings that is estimated to be worth about 902 billion won, his total assets are close to 2 trillion won. He is the 13th richest man on the list, even by the most conservative estimation.

Former chairman of Taekwang Group Lee Ho-jin, 55, who had to resign from his position after being questioned by the prosecution for embezzlement charges in 2012 holds both listed and unlisted stocks. His listed stocks, such as Daehan Synthetic Fiber (15.39 percent) and Taekwang Industrial (15.81 percent) accounted for 201.2 billion won, while the value of his unlisted stocks was worth 1.2 trillion won. 

More than half of Heesung Group Chairman Koo Bon-neung’s total assets worth 952.2 billion won came from six unlisted firms, such as Heesung Electronics, Heesung Metal, and Heesung Precision, accounting for 545.1 billion won.

Chief Commercial Officer of Hanwha Q Cells Kim Dong- kwan, 34, the eldest son of  Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn, is another rich man in Korea whose proportion of unlisted stocks is high. The listed stocks that he owns, Hanwha common and preferred stocks, are worth 135.7 billion won, while the unlisted stocks of Hanwha S&C (50 percent) is estimated to be worth around 368.7 billion won. When only considering the listed stocks, he was 145th on the list, but by adding in the unlisted stocks, his rank was bumped up to 59. Hanwha S&C is a promising subsidiary in the future foods industry, and Kim Dong-kwan is one of the candidates to succeed Hanwha Group.

By The Superrich Team (Yoon Hyun-jong, Min Sang-seek, Yim Ji-min)/(jiminy@heraldcorp.com)
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