[THE INVESTOR] Lee Kun-hee, the head of South Korea‘s largest business group Samsung, saw his ranking in the global list of billionaires decrease seven notches over the past five months amid his prolonged hospitalization, an index by an international news agency showed on April 8.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Lee was ranked at 44th place among the world’s richest people, from 37th in November of last year. Bloomberg estimated Lee‘s assets at around US$20 billion.
The business tycoon was the only South Korean to be included on the world’s top 100 richest list.
Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee (left)
Lee has been hospitalized since 2014 after suffering a heart attack. While the company has kept Lee‘s condition confidential, sources say he is still incapable of communicating, thus making it difficult for him to be involved in the business affairs of the conglomerate.
The drop in wealth was mainly attributable to the plunge of Samsung shares that Lee owns over the cited period, which fell more than 10 percent.
Lee’s assets mainly comprise shares in Samsung Electronics, Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung C&T Corp.
As for the top 100 list for the Asia-Pacific region, there were six South Koreans on the list, down two from eight posted five months ago.
Seo Jung-jin, head of biopharmaceutical giant Celltrion, saw his ranking on the Asia-Pacific chart jump 23 notches to 42nd place from five months ago at $9.5 billion on the back of sharp rises of stock prices.
Suh Kyung-Bae, who leads AmorePacific group, also ranked 51st, followed by Lee Jae-yong, the only son of Kun-hee, at 55th place with $8 billion. Kim Jung-ju, who founded game developer Nexon, ranked 75th, while Chung Mong-koo, chairman of Hyundai Motor Group who‘s worth $5.4 billion, came in 93rd place.
By Park Ga-young and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)