The Korea Herald


Superrich prefer stock transfers to real restate

By Park Ga-young

Published : Jan. 31, 2017 - 18:27

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When it comes to bequeathing a fortune, South Korea’s superrich prefer stocks over real estate or cash, according to the country’s tax agency on Tuesday.

The superrich who transferred at least 5 billion won ($4.3 million) in assets between 2011 and 2015 made combined taxable transfers of assets worth 8.3 trillion won to their children or spouses, the National Tax Service said.

The most preferred form of their wealth transfer was in stocks, followed by cash and real estate.
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Nearly 62 percent, or 5.1 trillion won, was in the form of stocks. Cash inheritance accounted for 25.1 percent with 2.9 trillion won, while property took up 13.1 percent with 1.9 trillion won.

That compares with the overall trend in the nation where inheritance via property made up 50 percent. Total property transferred to offspring and spouses stood at 34.6 trillion won in value during the same period, while cash inheritance accounted for 26.5 percent with 18.3 trillion won. Stocks inheritance represented the smallest portion at 23.5 percent.

The trend of using stock transfers for inheritance has been growing.

When including nontaxable transactions, over 70 percent of asset transfers between 2001 and 2005 were made through real estate, while it was 12.2 percent for stocks. The portion of real estate declined to 57.7 percent while stocks rose to 15.2 percent between 2011 and 2015.

The increasing preference for stock inheritance is in line with larger profits made through stocks.

Capital gains taxes the tax agency levied on stock profits exceeded 15 trillion won in 2015 for the first time, more than doubling from 6.8 trillion won in 2011.

“Wealth transfers using stocks are likely to increase as the stock market boom has created more investment returns,” an official at the tax agency said.

By Park Ga-young (