By Lee Sun-young
Lee Soo-man, chairman of top talent agency and record label SM Entertainment, firmly holds the title of the Korean entertainment scene's richest stock investor, with his stock wealth amounting to more than 60 billion won (S$66 mil), data showed Wednesday.
According to chaebul.com, an online financial information provider, the former singer's stockholding is valued at 61.7 billion won as of Aug. 10, increasing more than 200 percent this year.
Lee owns a 28.25 percent stake in SM Entertainment which he founded in 1995. Traded on the KOSDAQ, shares in the firm soared a whopping 186 percent this year from 4,750 won per share on Jan. 4 to 13,600 won on Aug. 10, after it reported a four-fold increase in overseas label sales and royalty income in the first quarter of this year.
SM Entertainment, who was run by Lee until February, has produced major performers like H.O.T, S.E.S and BoA and now represents groups such as Girls' Generation and Super Junior.
Second-richest was TV and movie star Bae Yong-joon, a.k.a. Yonsama.
He holds a 34.6 percent stake in Keyeast Co., a celebrity management and visual contents maker listed on KOSDAQ. His stake is evaluated at 13.2 billion won, up 8.84 percent from early this year.
Singer Yang Soo-kyung, who is married to the former CEO of Yedang Entertainment, another talent agency, ranked third-richest in stocks among entertainers, holding shares in the firm worth 3 billion won.
Actress Kyun Mi-ri came in the fourth place, followed by singer BoA.
Asian superstar Rain, who took the third spot in the ranking early this year, did not make the list this time because he sold off his entire stake in J. Tune Entertainment in June.
-The Korea Herald/Asia News Network