Half of the rich got richer in terms of stock, half didn't

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Half of the rich got richer in terms of stock, half didn't

Korean stocks barely budged in 2021, with the Kospi up about 1 percent at the end of December, and small investors, driven largely by a fear of missing out, got hit hard as they bet heavily and lost out.
 
Results were mixed for bigger investors, with about half of them gaining and half of them losing, though some of the biggest increases were related to the inheritance of shares.  
 
The value of shares owned by the 500 largest stockholders in Korea was around 184.64 trillion won ($155.6 billion) as of Dec. 24. That's up 26 percent compared to Jan. 4, when the value was about 146.2 trillion won.  
 
These are some of the findings detailed in a recent report compiled by Leaders Index. Of the 500, the stock portfolios of 252 increased in value, while the holdings of 248 declined.  
 
Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and the second largest individual shareholder of the company, held stock worth 14.5 trillion won as of Dec. 24, up 51 percent from the beginning of the year despite the market price of Samsung Electronics falling 5 percent.
 
The portfolio of Cho Jung-ho, chairman of Meritz Financial Group, was up 313 percent to 3.96 trillion won, the biggest jump among those covered in the report. He ranked 8th in total holdings.
 
Shares owned by Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung were little changed in value, and his place in the ranking fell to 9th from 5th. SK Chairman Chey Tae-won held 3.33 trillion won worth of stock, a 2 percent increase. Chey placed 10th.
 
The value of shares owned by LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo fell 23 percent during the period to 2.07 trillion won. Koo's rank moved to 18th from 9th. Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin's holdings fell 14 percent in the value, leaving him at No. 36.
 
Portfolios of IT company leaders gained significantly.
 
Kakao founder and Chairman Kim Beom-su held a total of 6.74 billion won worth of stock, a 36 percent increase. The value of shares owned by Bang Si-hyuk of HYBE rose 129 percent to 4.48 trillion won, taking him to 7th place from 14th.
 
Kim Dae-il, from video game developer Pearl Abyss, held 2.98 trillion won of shares, a 151 percent jump, while the value of stock owned by Chang Byung-gyu, chairman of game developer Krafton, stood at 3.25 trillion, the 11th largest portfolio. Krafton went public in August.
 
The value of shares owned by Park Kwan-ho, chairman of Wemade, rose 786 percent to 2.59 trillion won. He was 90th at the beginning of the year and 15th by the end.
 
Cho Young-shik, chairman of SD Biosensor, held 1.77 trillion won of stock. The test-kit maker was listed in July.
 
Celltrion founder Seo Jung-jin's holdings fell 45 percent in value to 1.42 trillion won, and he was ranked 22nd.

BY BAEK IL-HYUN, SARAH CHEA [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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