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Samsung family in line to inherit W17tr of stocks

Late Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee (Yonhap)
Late Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee (Yonhap)
Members of the bereaved Samsung ownership family are expected to see major net worth boosts, as the late Chairman Lee Kun-hee left behind massive amounts of stocks they -- including heir apparent Lee Jae-yong -- stand to inherit, data showed Monday.

Late Chairman Lee’s personal fortune in the form of stocks -- subject to a handover to the families -- was worth a combined 17.7 trillion won ($15.6 billion) as of Thursday’s market closing, according to data from financial market information tracker FnGuide.

He was holding Samsung Group affiliates ranging from the bellwether Samsung Electronics to de facto holding firm Samsung C&T, financial arm Samsung Life Insurance and information technology unit Samsung SDS.

While Samsung Group has yet to unveil the deceased leader’s will or his plan to bequeath the assets, Korean law stipulates that Lee Kun-hee’s spouse Hong Ra-hee, elder son and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jae-yong and sisters Boo-jin and Seo-hyun should be the beneficiaries, among whom the spouse’s share will be 50 percent larger than those of the siblings.

After the inheritance tax roughly estimated to top 10 trillion won, Hong will be in line to inherit 2.6 trillion won in stocks, while Jae-yong, Boo-jin and Seo-hyun will stand to inherit 1.7 trillion won in shares each.

As of Thursday, Lee Jae-yong’s stock holdings were valued at a combined 7.3 trillion won, while those of Hong came to 3.2 trillion won. Lee Boo-jin and Seo-hyun each held some 1.7 trillion won in shares.

For over a decade, Lee Kun-hee was the wealthiest business magnate by stock holdings, even after he was hospitalized in 2014 following an acute heart attack. Chairmain Lee was the nation’s richest in stock assets, followed by former Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo and Kakao Chairman Kim Beom-su.

Even after the inheritance takes place involving tax payment, the Samsung family members are expected to remain on the nation’s stock-rich list, as Lee Jae-yong’s combined value in stock holdings will reach 9 trillion won, and Hong will stand at 5.7 trillion won, exceeding that of Hyundai Motor’s Chung at 4.5 trillion won and Kakao’s Kim at 4.3 trillion won -- all by market value as of Thursday.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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