Lee Hae-jin, head of Internet portal operator Naver, saw the value of his stock holdings rise more than any other Korean this year, according to a business data provider.
A financial report released by FnGuide showed Monday that Lee’s stock assets in two companies including Naver were worth 885 billion won ($818 million) as of last Thursday, securing him 16th place on Korea’s stock-rich list, up from 30th at the beginning of the year.
The value of Lee’s stocks have risen 74.1 percent, or 377 billion won, since Jan. 2.
Industry watchers attributed the gain to Internet portal operator NHN Corp.’s demerge into Naver and mobile game business NHN Entertainment.
Following Lee were Cho Yang-rai, chairman of Hankook Tire, whose stock value increased 368 billion won, Lee Jun-ho, CEO of NHN Entertainment who marked a 304 billion won increase, and Chung Mong-jin, CEO of KCC with 275 billion won.
Stocks held by Lee Kun-hee, head of Samsung Electronics, decreased 4.6 percent, or 547 billion won, to 11.4 trillion won, marking the largest drop among the richest stockholders.
Suh Kyung-bae, CEO of cosmetics maker AmorePacific Corp. and Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, followed the Samsung chief, losing 478 billion won and 223 billion won in their stock values.
The stock values of Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho and GS Group chairman Huh Chang-soo dropped 61.7 percent to 130 billion won and 29.1 percent to 490 billion won, respectively.
Despite the tumbling stock values, the ranking of the richest chaebol figures has shown little change, with Samsung chairman Lee and Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo in the lead.
Lee Myung-hee, head of Shinsegae Group and sister of the Samsung chairman, went up two spots to ninth, while Hong Ra-hee, wife of Samsung chief Lee, ranked 10th, down one notch.
The number of chaebol belonging to the so-called “1 trillion won club” ― those turning a profit of that amount or more ― remained at 14, the same figure recorded earlier this year.
The number of people who hold stocks worth more than 500 billion won increased three to 34, while those with 100 billion won increased one to 177.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org