SEOUL -- Lee Kun-hee remained bedridden and incommunicado at an isolated hospital room after being hit by a stroke in 2014, but the value of his equity assets soared this year to keep his status as South Korea's richest man mainly thanks to earnings from his stake in Samsung Electronics.
As of December 30, the total value of equity assets held by the 77-year-old patriarch of South Korea's largest conglomerate stood at 17.62 trillion won ($15.2 billion), up from 13.58 trillion on January 2, according to CEO Score, a leading business evaluation website in South Korea. He was the man who has seen his individual equity value increased the most this year.
The increase was largely due to a rebound in the share prices of Samsung Electronics. CEO Score data showed that Lee Kun-hee held a 4.18 percent stake in Samsung Electronics. Over the same period, the value of his stake in the world's largest smartphone maker soared from 9.68 trillion won to 13.9 trillion won.
The value of equity assets owned by the ailing patriarch's son was estimated at 7.35 trillion won. Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee stood second in the rankings of South Korea's "super-rich" people, followed by AmorePacific chairman Suh Kyung-bae with 5.05 trillion won and Hyundai Motor chairman Chung Mong-koo with 3.96 trillion won.
Lee Kun-hee's wife, Hong Ra-hee, was ranked sixth with 3.02 trillion won behind SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won who had an equity asset of 3.42 trillion won.
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