Samsung Group’s Chairman Lee Kun-hee leaped a total of 23 places in mere three months on the Global Wealth Index to become the 45th wealthiest individual across the globe. The report puts Lee’s net worth at $18.5 billion and represents a total increase of $4.4 billion in revenue in mere seven months. The surge in Lee’s global wealth comes in light of Samsung recording its highest gross profit in its entire history which has caused a spike in Samsung’s stock prices with a substantial rise of 32.8 percent since last year. The South Korean giant’s rise can primarily be attributed to its vast investment in semiconductors which is reaping profits thanks to an increase in chip and data farm production along with the current trend of cryptocurrency mining. The earnings in revenue are a direct result of Samsung diversifying its approach in the electronics market after the Galaxy Note 7 issues forced the company to rethink its priorities.
Samsung Electronics traded at 2.39 million won ($2,070) per share at the closing of the stock market on Friday owing to the company’s announcement of its unprecedented quarterly earnings. With the aggregate worth of the company on the stock market at about 312.68 trillion won ($217 billion), Samsung expects its second quarter’s operating profits to surpass 14 trillion won ($12 billion), against the conservative analysis of 8.14 trillion won ($7 billion) it expected a year ago. Lee alone owns $12.6 billion worth of shares in Samsung Electronics, along with sizable holdings in Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung Construction and Trading (C&T) Corporation which is the main source of revenue for the Asian conglomerate. Furthermore, Lee also controls over $770 million in tangible assets. Jae-yong, the successor and Vice Chairman of the company, also leaped to 199th place in the ratings, up from 239th. Jae-yong’s net value is estimated to be worth $7.2 billion, an upward surge from $1.5 billion early this year.
While Bill Gates, the co- founder of Microsoft stands as the wealthiest person in the world followed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with $89.4 billion and $83.9 billion in earnings respectively, Lee senior and junior collectively generate revenue about 17 to 20 percent of Korea’s GDP and are the first and second wealthiest people in South Korea.