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Number of under-20s with Samsung shares skyrockets

A flag bearing the Samsung logo in front of the Samsung building in southern Seoul (Yonhap)
A flag bearing the Samsung logo in front of the Samsung building in southern Seoul (Yonhap)
The number of Samsung Electronics shareholders who are under 20 years old has jumped nearly 90-fold over the past five years, according to data released Wednesday.

Data compiled by securities information portal SEIBro, operated by Korea Securities Depository, showed that the number of Samsung Electronics’ shareholders aged 0-19 increased from 1,290 at the end of 2016 to around 115,000 as of the end of December 2020.

Those under 20 accounted for 5.34 percent of the tech giant‘s stockholders. The total number of Samsung stocks issued to the under-20 cohort came to some 5.88 million -- worth 476.5 billion won ($423.80 million) last year, equal to about 0.1 percent of the company.

Following Samsung Electronics’ stock split, the number of stockholders in the age group surged more than tenfold to 15,021 at the end of 2018. The figure again soared tenfold by 2020.

As a result, their portion in total stockholders in the local market recorded 5.34 percent at end-2020, up from four years ago with 1.93 percent. The average stockholder in the 0-19 age group owned 51 Samsung shares last year.

Since stock trading has no age limit, an increasing number of Korean parents choose to buy shares for their children. It has further gained popularity as some parents using it as a way to pass on their assets.

Following the recent trend, the number of stock trading accounts owned by minors has also drastically increased -- from some 187,500 in 2018 to 601,500 in 2020 -- according to data from Hana Bank, KB Kookmin Bank and KSD that was submitted to Rep. Lee Joo-hwan of the People Power Party.

Their total stockholdings more than doubled to 3.05 trillion won over the cited period as well.

By Jie Ye-eun (