Heads of South Korea's top 10 conglomerates have seen the aggregate value of their stockholdings decrease by more than 5 trillion won (US$4.42 billion) this year. The drop in the value of their stocks were caused mainly by a trade war between the United States and China and a rise in U.S. interest rates.
According to Chaebol.com on Oct. 21, the combined value of the listed stocks owned by heads or 10 largest shareholders of the nation’s top 10 family-run conglomerates in terms of assets totaled 29.9 trillion won (US$26.4 billion) as of the 19th, down 15 percent from the 35.18 trillion won (US$31.07 billion) at the end of last year.
By individual, Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee saw his stock assets decrease by 3.2 trillion won (US$2.82 billion), or 17.2 percent, from 18.58 trillion won (US$16.41 billion) at the end of last year to 15.38 trillion won (US$13.58 billion) as of Oct. 19, marking the sharpest drop in amount. This was because the share price of Samsung Electronics Co. and Samsung Life Insurance Co. fell 13.9 percent and 26.8 percent, respectively, this year.
The value of stocks held by Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo also went down by 1.16 trillion won (US$1.03 billion), or 24.1 percent, from 4.83 trillion won (US$4.26 billion) to 3.66 trillion won (US$3.23 billion) over the same period. The stock prices of Hyundai Motor Co., Hyundai Mobis Co. and Hyundai Steel Co. dropped over 20 percent.
The equity value owned by Shinsegae Group chairwoman Lee Myung-hee decreased by 18.8 percent from 1.93 trillion won (US$1.7 billion) to 1.57 trillion won (US$1.38 billion) because of the drop in stock prices of Shinsegae Co. and E-Mart Co.
The stock assets of LG Group chairman Koo Kwang-mo fell by 281.9 billion won (US$248.92 million), or 28.8 percent, from 979.1 billion won (US$864.55 million) to 697.2 billion won (US$615.63 million) over the same period, while those of SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won dropped by 224.3 billion won (US$198.06 million), or 4.8 percent, from 4.66 trillion won (US$4.12 billion) to 4.44 trillion won (US$3.92 billion).
Hanwha Group chairman Kim Seung-yeon saw his stock assets goes down by 214.4 billion won (US$189.32 million), or 29.3 percent, from 731.3 billion won (US$645.74 million) to 516.8 billion won (US$456.34 million) due to the fall in stock prices of Hanwha Corp. and Hanwha Chemical Corp. He showed the highest decrease rate of equity value among heads of the nation’s top 10 conglomerates.
The equity value of Asan Foundation chairman Chung Mong-joon, who is the largest shareholder of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. but ss not currently involved in management of the company, decreased by 29.4 billion won (US$25.96 million), or 1.8 percent, from 1.6 trillion won (US$1.41 billion) to 1.57 trillion won (US$1.39 billion).
On the other hand, GS Group chairman Huh Chang-soo, Doosan Group chairman Park Jeong-won and Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin saw their stock assets increase this year. Huh's equity value increased by 15.4 billion won (US$13.6 million), or 21.6 percent, from 488 billion won (US$430.91 million) to 516.8 billion won (US$456.34 million), while that of the Doosan chairman grew by 18.5 billion won (US$16.34 million), or 12.1 percent, from 153.2 billion won (US$135.28 million) to 171.7 billion won (US$151.61 million). This was thanks to the rise in stock prices of GS Engineering & Construction Corp. and Doosan Engineering & Construction Co.
The stock assets of Lotte chairman Shin rose by 70.8 billion won (US$62.52 million), or 5.8 percent, from 1.23 trillion won (US$1.08 billion) to 1.3 trillion won (US$1.15 billion) owing to his recent release from jail and expectations for corporate governance reform.