As unfavorable conditions, such as exchange rates, has had adverse effects on the domestic stock market, the total stock value of the nation’s 30 stock-rich billionaires have dropped by more than 2 trillion won (US$1.7 billion) in two weeks.
According to data compiled by market researcher Chaebul.com on Aug. 16, the combined value of the stocks held by the 30 wealthiest South Koreans amounted to 76.97 trillion won (US$65.53 billion) as of Aug. 13, down 2.08 trillion won (US$1.77 billion), or 2.6 percent, from 79.06 trillion won (US$67.3 billion) at the end of last month.
During the same period, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index, the country's key stock index, sank 46.7 points, or 2.3 percent, to 1,983.46 from 2,030.16. The local stock market has been fluctuating amid adverse exchange rate conditions, which have led to a fall in earnings for major exporters in the country. Also, China's recent currency devaluation weakened domestic stocks related to China, including cosmetics.
Shares of cosmetics firm AmorePacific Group's Chairman Suh Kyung-bae, who is currently the richest based on his stock holdings, slumped 4.2 percent, or 473.8 billion won (US$403.37 million), in value to 10.85 trillion won (US$9.24 billion) from 11.33 trillion won (US$9.64 billion) at the end of last month.
Due to the slump of Samsung Group and Hyundai Motor Group stocks, the values of owned stocks by both families of Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee and Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo plunged.
Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who is the second richest based on his stock holdings, also lost some of his wealth, as his stocks were valued at 10.63 trillion won (US$9.05 billion), down 5.6 percent, or 635.7 billion won (US$541.21 million), from the end of July. The stock value of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, the third richest, also tumbled 10.4 percent, or 914.8 billion won (US$778.82 million), in value to 7.91 trillion won (US$6.74 billion).
Shares of Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Bu-jin and Cheil Industries President Lee Seo-hyun, who shared eighth place, dropped 11.2 percent, or 295.2 billion won (US$251.32 million), to 2.34 trillion won (US$1.99 billion), respectively. The stock value of Leeum Samsung Museum Director Hong Ra-hee, Lee Kun-hee's wife who ranked 20th, slumped 3.8 percent, or 48.7 billion won (US$41.46 million), while the figure of Lee Hak-soo, the former advisor to Samsung C&T Corporation who ranked the 29th, tumbled 9.6 percent, or 88.2 billion won (US$75.09 million).
The stock assets of Chung Mong-koo, chairman of Hyundai Motor Group who came in fifth, decreased 4.4 percent, or 200.6 billion won (US$170.78 million), to 4.36 trillion won (US$3.71 billion) from the end of last month, and shares of his son Chung Eui-son, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group who ranked 10th, also plunged 7.3 percent, or 152.3 billion won (US$129.66 million), to below 2 trillion won (US$1.7 billion) in the same period, the data showed.
Among the nation’s top 10 stock-rich billionaires, there were only three people who saw the valuation gains this month – SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, CJ Group Chairman Lee Jay-Hyun, and Hanmi Pharmaceutical Chairman Lim Sung-ki.
The holdings of SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who took fourth place, edged up 1.5 percent, or 73.9 billion won (US$62.92 million), this month alone to 5.12 trillion won (US$4.35 billion) following his release from jail on Aug. 14, as the government granted him a special pardon marking the country's Liberation Day. Shares of CJ Group Chairman Lee Jay-Hyun, who came in sixth, increased 2.6 percent, or 100.5 billion won (US$85.56 million), to 3.96 trillion won (US$3.37 billion).
Both Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and Former Lotte Japan Vice Chairman Shin Dong-joo, the two brothers quarreling over who gets to succeed their father in controlling the retail conglomerate Lotte Group, experienced 1 percent, or 13.8 billion won (US$11.75 million) and 0.8 percent, or 10.2 billion won (US$8.68 million) slips in their respective stock values. The value of domestic stocks held by Chairman Shin Dong-bin amounted to 1.42 trillion won (US$1.21 billion), while the figure of former Chairman Shin Dong-joo totaled 1.27 trillion won (US$1.08 billion), according to the data.