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Kakao founder becomes second-richest S. Korean stockholder, bumping Samsung heir


Kakao founder Kim Beom-su snagged the No. 2 spot on the list of South Korea’s wealthiest businesspeople, with his stock assets rising by some 5 trillion won ($4.2 billion), industry data showed Monday. This puts him ahead of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, and second only to Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

Kim, who currently holds a 14.51 percent stake in Kakao, saw the value of his stock assets surpass 9 trillion won as of Friday, up 136.16 percent from 3.84 trillion won late last year. The Samsung Group chairman’s stock holdings are estimated at nearly 17 trillion won.

Chairman Lee’s only son, Jae-yong, who had previously ranked second on the list, dropped one spot to third place after his stock gained 393 billion won in value to reach 7.74 trillion won during the same period.

Kakao’s shares soared amid the coronavirus pandemic, which provided momentum for stocks related to non-face-to-face businesses as well as the biotechnology, battery and internet sectors.

By Choi Jae-hee (