Regardless, the stock surge boosted the combined fortune of Hyundai
Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung and his father, Mong-Koo, by almost $2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Euisun, who succeed his father as the group’s chairman in October, has been pushing for technologies including electric and driverless vehicles to turn the carmaker into one of the world’s leaders. Hyundai Motor will spend more than 60 trillion won ($55 billion) in those areas over the next five years and in 2019 set up a $4 billion autonomous-driving joint venture with a General Motors Co. spinoff. It plans to release its first electric vehicle this year.
Any collaboration with a big tech company could boost that push. Apple
has said it will take at least five years to introduce an autonomous, electric vehicle, according to people familiar with the plans, meaning that it’s in no hurry to decide on potential auto-industry partners.
Investors have increasingly turned to electric vehicles and their suppliers, driven to a great extent by an unstoppable rally in shares of industry front-runner Tesla Inc. On Thursday, Elon Musk surpassed Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person, with a net worth of $194.8 billion.
With Friday’s jump in Hyundai Motor shares, Euisun Chung is now worth $4.8 billion and his father’s wealth has climbed to $7.4 billion. The two directly hold about 8% of Hyundai Motor.
Friday was also a good day for South Korea’s richest person. Jay Y. Lee of Samsung Electronics Co. gained more than $2 billion as shares of the nation’s biggest company advanced the most since March to hit a peak after it reported a 26% jump in operating income. The Samsung heir faces a nine-year prison term for bribery, with the Seoul High Court poised to make a ruling on Jan. 18.
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