[THE INVESTOR] The owners of South Korea’s top 10 chaebol groups saw their stock value rise by about 2 trillion won (US$1.7 billion) this month to reach 30.17 trillion won, industry data showed on Jan. 27.
According to Chaebul.com, which tracks conglomerates here, the figure was up 8.3 percent from 27.8 trillion won at the end of last year.
Individually, the value of stocks held by Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee rose to 15.1 trillion won, up 11.5 percent from 13.6 trillion won at the end of last year. Lee, who has been hospitalized since 2014 after suffering a heart attack, has an estimated net worth of 78 trillion won.
Samsung Electronics’ shares increased to 43,050 won as of Jan. 24, up 11.2 percent from last year’s 38,700 won, despite the decline in its fourth-quarter performance attributed to falling chip prices and slowing memory chip demand.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo saw his stocks valued at 4.1 trillion won, up 11.7 percent from 3.6 trillion won last year. The automaker’s affiliates, auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis and steel manufacturer Hyundai Steel, logged record-high overseas orders and the largest sales amount last year, respectively.
LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo, who inherited a large chunk of LG shares from late Chairman Koo Bon-moo, saw the value of his shares rise 7.7 percent to 1.9 trillion won from 1.8 trillion won last year.
Shares held by Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-yeon rose to 649 billion won in value, up 9.3 percent from last year’s 553 billion won.
Hanwha Chemical recently confirmed the buyout of the group’s photovoltaic solar cells making unit Hanwha Q-Cells by merging it into a wholly owned unit.
Other chaebol group owners, GS Group Chairman Heo Chang-soo, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won and Doosan Group Chairman Park Jung-won, also saw a rise in the value of their stocks.
Meanwhile, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin was the only chaebol group owner to see his value of stocks fall to 1.21 trillion won, down 5.5 percent from last year’s 1.28 trillion won.
By Kim Da-sol (firstname.lastname@example.org)