Korea’s rich list getting longer amid downturn

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Korea’s rich list getting longer amid downturn

The number of wealthy people with exceptionally high net financial portfolios in Korea grew dramatically this year despite the financial turbulence and the global economic slump, a local asset manager said yesterday.

The number of Koreans with net financial assets of 1 billion won ($864,000) or more is estimated to have reached some 130,000, according to Mirae Asset Global Investments.

A financial portfolio includes deposits, insurances and stocks. Mirae Asset classifies people with bank deposits exceeding 500 million won as the so-called super rich.

According to Mirae Asset, the number of bank accounts with 500 million won or more reached 86,000 at the end of June with combined deposits in those accounts reaching 324 trillion won.

The corresponding number of such bank accounts came in at 82,000 at the end of last year, and their combined amount reached 312 trillion won, it said, citing data compiled by the country’s central bank.

In the meantime, local banks, brokerages and life insurers are fiercely competing to offer such wealthy customers a wide range of services from portfolio management, taxation and legal tips to matchmaking opportunities between well-off families.

They expect explosive growth in the country’s private banking and asset management markets, which have so far remained underdeveloped due to Korea’s regulatory system.


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