Wednesday, October 3, 2012

‘Gangnam Style’ shakes up wealth hierarchy

It seems that the Internet’s most popular dance has shaken up the hierarchy of Korea’s super-rich. Entertainment mogul Yang Hyun-suk is galloping up the chart of the country’s wealthiest businessmen, according to latest financial figures.


 Signing Psy, now an international rap sensation thanks to the immensely popular song ‘Gangnam Style,’ has clearly been his best move ever as founder and head of YG Entertainment.

Yang’s shares in YG were valued at around 130 billion won (about $117 million) at the end of January, making him the country’s 130th richest person in stock holdings. The company’s share prices have increased by a staggering 162 percent since, owing to the release of ‘Gangnam Style’ and the outbreak of the invisible horse-riding epidemic.

As of the end of September, Yang’s shares in YG were valued at 340.2 billion won, pushing him way up to 49th on the stock wealth chart.

SM Entertainment’s Lee Sooman finished at 64th with 262.2 billion won worth of shares, according to (, an analysis firm focused on big businesses.

While Yang’s rise on the wealth table in recent months has been nothing short of meteoric, there were little changes at the tippity top.

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee continues to be the country’s richest stock holder, with his shares valued near 11 trillion won (about $9.8 billion) as of September, representing a 2 trillion won increase over the past nine months. Stock prices of Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of televisions, mobile phones and computer memory chips, has increased by nearly 25 percent since the start of the year.

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo came in second with 7.3 trillion won worth of shares, which represented a 13 percent increase since the start of the year. His son Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of the carmaker, came in third with 3.42 trillion won worth shares.

Amore Pacific Chairman Suh Kyung-bae came in fourth with 2.9 trillion worth of shares, followed by Chung Mong-joon, another Hyundai scion and controlling shareholder of Hyundai Heavy Industries, fifth with 1.9 trillion worth of shares.

Computer software mogul Ahn Cheol-soo, now an independent presidential candidate, was 79th on the list with 222 billion worth of shares in computer virus maker AhnLab.


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