Friday, May 1

Top 10 Richest People/person of South Korea 2009

1.Lee Kun-Hee

lee-kun-heeNET WORTH :$3.9 billion

AGE :67

Resigned as Samsung Group chairman last year after being charged with tax evasion and breach of trust; latter charges dismissed. Paid $140 million in overdue taxes in May 2008; sentenced to 3-year suspended jail term, fined $80 million. Ruling is being appealed. Stakes in Samsung Life, Samsung Electronics revealed to be greater than previously disclosed, bumping up fortune by $1.2 billion.

2.Chung Mong-Koo

chung-mong-koo NET WORTH : $1.85 billion

AGE : 71

Good year for Hyundai Motor chairman and his company. Presidential pardon in August 2008 put fraud conviction behind him. World's fifth-largest automaker faring well in U.S.; Genesis model won North American Car of the Year award. U.S. sales up 0.5% in first-quarter 2009, thanks in part to program that lets people who lose jobs return newly purchased cars. Building steelmaking plant to be completed by 2011.

3.Chung Mong-Joon

chung-mong-joon NET WORTH: $1.3 billion

AGE: 57

Still Korea's richest politician despite fortune falling by $1.7 billion. Assemblyman is biggest individual shareholder in Hyundai Heavy Industries, which he ran until 1988 when he entered politics; stock slipped 42% in past year. Brother of Chung Mong-Koo is said to have close ties to nation's president, a former Hyundai executive. Vice president of FIFA, world governing body for soccer.

4 . Lee Myung-Hee

lee-myung-hee NET WORTH : $1.2 billion
AGE : 65

Sister of Lee Kun-Hee (No. 1) heads retailer Shinsegae, once part of Samsung Group. Expanding in China; says it hopes to become one of world's top 10 retailers within 4 years. Upped her stake in Shinsegae last fall; holds 17% stake.

 5. Shin Dong-Bin

shin-dong-bin NET WORTH: $1 billion
AGE : 54
Vice chairman of Lotte Group in Korea, with interests in retail, food, petrochemicals, construction, theme parks. Chairman is father, Shin Kyuk-Ho (No. 38). Opened its first Lotte Department Store in Beijing in August 2008. Lotte Confectionery snagged Belgian chocolate maker Guylian for $160 million last year. Once worked at Nomura Securities.

6.Shin Dong-Joo

0000002124 NET WORTH: $940 million
AGE: 55
Eldest son of Shin Kyuk-Ho is vice president of Lotte in Japan and lives in Tokyo. Sits on boards of Lotte Chilsung Beverage, Lotte Hotel, Lotte Aluminum.

7. Jay Y. Lee

jay-y-lee NET WORTH :$880 million
AGE: 40
Stepped down as Samsung Electronics' chief customer officer in April 2008, same month his father (No. 1) resigned. Now a senior vice president developing Samsung's global business, particularly in key emerging markets like China. Court ruled last year that he had not acquired shares in Samsung Everland at below-market rates; prosecutors appealed and await Supreme Court verdict. Got divorced in February.

8.Chang Pyung-Soon

chang-pyung-soon NET WORTH: $860 million
AGE :58
Climbs from No. 22 thanks to boost in sales and net assets of his Kyowon Group, one of nation's biggest educational companies. It also has interests in water purifiers, bidets, cosmetics, underwear; plans to expand into hotels. Spent $100 million on new headquarters in Seoul last year. Changed its logo for first time in its 23-year history. He got start as insurance salesman, sold books door-to-door.

9.Koo Bon-Moo

koo-bon-moo NET WORTH :$770 million
AGE: 64
Chairman of LG Group, with 51 affiliates in electronics, home appliances, chemicals, telecom. In New Year's Day speech, announced plans to become more aggressive in hiring, fostering talent in tough times. Owns small cave at an LG resort in which he can store 50,000 bottles of wine. Son died in an accident in 1990s. Adopted brother's son in 2004.

10.Shin Chang-Jae

shin-chang-jae NET WORTH :$680 million
AGE: 55
Chairman of Kyobo Life Insurance, which his father founded. Took over daily operations of its asset-management group last year after unit reportedly lost money because of Lehman Brothers collapse. Company still profitable in 2008. Educated as a medical doctor; also a former professor.


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