Underaged children of the families of South Korea’s large business conglomerates own close to 100 billion won ($84.78 million) in shares, according to data by the Fair Trade Commission on Wednesday.
A total of 39 minors who are directly related to the owners of 15 conglomerates held stakes in their affiliates as of 2014, according to data provided by the FTC to Rep. Shin Hak-yong of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy.
Their total shares were valued at 96.2 billion won ($81.5 million) as of Sept. 8, which translates into an average 2.5 billion won in shares held per person, according to the findings.
Among the conglomerates, six minors of GS Group held the largest combined stakes at 71 billion won, or roughly 11.8 billion won per person. The shares were spread out across eight listed and unlisted group affiliates including GS Holdings and GS E&C.
One minor at KCC owned 10.7 billion won in shares, while three minors at Doosan reportedly held a combined stake of 3.7 billion won.
Moreover, underaged children of the families of Lotte, LS, Daelim, OCI, Hyosung, Dongkuk Steel Mill, Hankook Tire, Taekwang, SeAH, Hyundai Development Company, Daesung and Jungheung Construction held shares in their group affiliates, according to the lawmaker.
“The conglomerates have likely handed out shares to their family’s children in a bid to strengthen the owners’ control over their businesses and reduce the amount of transfer taxes early on,” Shin said.
Sohn Ji-young (firstname.lastname@example.org