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Samsung's Lee leaves behind $21 billion wealth for inheritance

Joyce Lee and Hyunjoo Jin
·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee listens to a question from a reporter after touring the Samsung booth at the CES in Las Vegas
FILE PHOTO: Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee listens to a question from a reporter after touring the Samsung booth at the CES in Las Vegas

By Joyce Lee and Hyunjoo Jin

SEOUL (Reuters) - 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. [nL1N2HG01W]

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

STOCKS

Lee was the wealthiest stock owner in South Korea, and had stakes in four listed Samsung companies valued at about 18.2 trillion won ($16.1 billion) as of Friday's closing price.

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

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% inheritance tax rate on listed stocks, a 20% 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.

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% stake in Samsung Electronics and a 17.3% stake in Samsung C&T, the group's de facto holding firm. He also owns a 9.2% stake in Samsung SDS, 1.5% in Samsung Engineering, and less than 0.1% 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.

($1 = 1,127.9500 won)

(Reporting by Joyce Lee and Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Miyoung Kim and William Mallard)