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Samsung's Lee leaves behind US$21b wealth for inheritance

Samsung's Lee leaves behind US$21b wealth for inheritance
A handout photo. Samsung group chairman Lee Kun-hee is seen at an Olympics partnership ceremony in 1997.
PHOTO: Reuters

SEOUL - Lee Kun-hee, South Korea’s richest person and chairman of Samsung Electronics Co, died on Sunday, leaving behind considerable assets subject to be potentially inherited by his surviving family as well as inheritance tax.

Here is a rundown of his net worth, which Forbes says amounts to $20.9 billion (S$28 billion), and expected inheritance tax.


Lee was the wealthiest stock owner in South Korea, and had stakes in four listed Samsung companies valued at about 18.2 trillion won (S$21 billion) as of Friday’s closing price.

His stock ownership included 4.18 per cent of Samsung Electronics common shares and 0.08 per cent of preferred shares, worth about 15 trillion won in total; a 20.76 per cent stake in Samsung Life Insurance worth about 2.6 trillion won; a 2.88 per cent stake in Samsung C&T worth about 564 billion won; and a 0.01 per cent stake in Samsung SDS worth about 1.67 billion won, according to Reuters calculations based on Fair Trade Commission data.

ALSO READ: Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, head of South Korea's biggest conglomerate, dies at 78

Real estate

His two known houses in central Seoul are the priciest individual homes in the country, with ground area of 1,245.1 and 3,422.9 square metres, respectively. They were valued at about 40.9 billion won and 34.2 billion won, Yonhap news agency reported earlier this year.

Hefty inheritance tax

According to South Korean tax rules, before applying the country’s 50 per cent inheritance tax rate on listed stocks, a 20 per cent premium is added to the appraisal value of the deceased person’s holdings, which will be based on the four-month average of the shares’ closing market price before and after the death.

On current estimates, the inheritance tax for the above stocks alone is expected to be around 10.6 trillion won, according to a Reuters calculation.

ALSO READ: Samsung's Lee Kun-hee: Tainted titan who built a global tech giant

Children's wealth

Jay Y. Lee, de facto heir to the elder Lee, has stakes worth a total of about 7.2 trillion won in six of Samsung Group’s listed affiliates as of Friday’s closing, according to a Reuters calculation.

The younger Lee has a 0.7 per cent stake in Samsung Electronics and a 17.3 per cent stake in Samsung C&T, the group’s de facto holding firm. He also owns a 9.2 per cent stake in Samsung SDS, 1.5 per cent in Samsung Engineering, and less than 0.1 per cent of Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance each, according to regulatory filings.

Daughters Lee Boo-jin, CEO of Hotel Shilla, and Lee Seo-hyun, who runs the Samsung Foundation, each own stakes in Samsung C&T and Samsung SDS worth about 1.6 trillion won.

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