Chaebol’s millionaire kids are listed

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Chaebol’s millionaire kids are listed

As average Koreans struggle with a sluggish economy, conglomerate founding families have been aggressively increasing the stock holdings of their underage children.

The families are suspected of taking advantage of a bearish market.

According to Chaebul.com, a Web site dedicated to providing information about the families that run Korea’s chaebol, the number of children in those families born since Aug. 1, 1993, with shares of stock worth more than 100 million won ($90,000) totalled 268 as of last Friday.

This was 25 more than a year ago, or a 10.3 percent increase.

And the number of children whose stocks’ value exceeded 1 billion won increased by 10 from 80 last year to 105 this year, a 31.3 percent increase, according to the Web site.

Children with stock worth more than 10 billion won rose by one to reach seven.

Of the seven, Chaebul.com said, three were children of the GS Group.

Two sons of Huh Yong-su, GS Energy vice president, topped the list with a shareholding worth 44.5 billion won for a 12-year-old son and 18 billion won for his 8-year-old brother. Huh is a cousin of GS Group Chairman Huh Chang-soo.

A 13-year old daughter of GS Homeshopping President Huh Tae-soo ranked fifth on the list with stocks worth 13.2 billion won. Huh Tae-soo is the younger brother of the GS Group chairman.

KCC, a Seoul-based maker of paint and building products,?also had two scions with stocks worth more than 10 billion won. The 19-year-old son of KCC Group Chairman Chung Mong-jin owned 17.2 billion won of stock while KCC President Chung Mong-ick’s 15-year-old son owned 10.6 billion won worth.

The KCC president is the younger brother of the chairman. The two brothers are nephews of the late founder of Hyundai Group, Chung Ju-yung.

The seven grandchilderen of Hanmi Pharm’s Chairman Lim Sung-ki all own 9 billion won worth of stock each, while LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo’s 17 year-old daughter has 5.2 billion won in stocks. The 12-year old son of LB Investment President Brian Bonchun Koo owns 4.2 billion of stocks, while his 19-year-old and 17-year-old daughters own nearly 1.2 billion won each.

The list included children who were only 5 and 6 years old.

Although the Kospi went up to as much as 2,040 in January, it has fallen as low as 1,770 in June. It has struggled between the 1,800 and 1,900 levels even in the last two months.


By lee ho-jeong [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]

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