The Korea Herald


Nexon Japan’s major shareholders are at tax havens:

By Korea Herald

Published : July 27, 2016 - 13:59

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[THE INVESTOR] Many of Nexon Japan’s major shareholders were found to be offshore firms located in tax havens, according to data from conglomerate tracker on July 27.

In addition, a local brokerage -- Samsung Securities -- was discovered holding the third-largest stake in the gaming company through an overseas bank account.

Nexon Japan is the headquarters of the South Korean gaming company Nexon Group founded by Kim Jung-ju who is currently being questioned for charges of bribery. Kim is head of NXC, the holding company of Nexon Group. 

NXC was found holding a 38.61 percent stake in Nexon Japan as of March this year. The firm’s stake was down 15.75 percentage points from 54.36 percent in September 2012.

At the same time, the stakes owned by offshore firms -- some of which are owned by Nexon Group holding company NXC – have increased, said.

For instance, NXMH B.V.B.A is an investment and consulting firm wholly owned by NXC, at which Kim is chairman. Together with his wife Yoo Jung-hyun, Kim holds a 70 percent stake in the firm in NXC, meaning Kim is the de facto owner of NXMH B.V.B.A. Up until 2009, this firm had been located in the Netherlands, a well-known tax haven.

Another shareholder by the name of CBHK-KOREA SECURITIES DEPOSITORY-SAMSUNG was found to be the third-largest stakeholder in Nexon Japan. The shareholder, who engaged in stock transactions via an account opened in Hong Kong through Samsung Securities, holds a 4.75 percent stake valued at around 300 billion won (US$263.19 million).

Another fund -- CBNY-ORBIS FUNDS -- is also a major shareholder of Nexon Japan. It holds a 0.94 percent stake, making it one of the top ten shareholders. This shareholder appears to have opened an account in Bermuda from Citibank’s New York branch.

Nexon Japan drew nationwide attention earlier this year after it was discovered that the Nexon founder had offered bribes and insider information to a former prosecutor -- Jin Kyung-joon. As a friend of Kim, Jin earned 12 billion won by attaining Nexon Japan shares before they were listed on the Tokyo stock market and selling them after the IPO.

Nexon Group currently runs 55 affiliates including 38 that are located overseas. As of 2014, the group’s assets stood at 4.98 trillion won on a consolidated basis, with sales of 1.94 trillion won.

By Kim Ji-hyun (