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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- The combined assets of South Korea's three major family-controlled conglomerates hit an all-time high last year, data showed Wednesday, in the latest sign of concentration of wealth in a few industrial behemoths in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The assets of Samsung Group, Hyundai Motor Group and LG Group as well as other conglomerates run by family members totaled 819.8 trillion won (US$730 billion) as of the end of 2012, according to data compiled by CEOSCORE, a Web site that tracks the country's top 10 conglomerates as well as financial firms and state-run companies.

Their combined assets accounted for 52.9 percent of all assets of the country's 51 major conglomerates last year, compared with 46.2 percent in 2007 -- the lowest level in a decade, according to the Web site.

Samsung Group, South Korea's largest conglomerate, and CJ Group, Shinsegae Group and Hansol Group, saw their assets surge to 358.3 trillion won in 2012 from 199.2 trillion won in 2008.

Some of the top officials of CJ Group, Shinsegae Group and Hansol Group are either children or grandchildren of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul.

Shinsegae Group is the country's second-largest retailer and CJ Group is a food and entertainment conglomerate.

The latest data comes as President Park Geun-hye vowed to bring about economic democratization in a country that has been dominated by family-controlled conglomerates, known as chaebol.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130403/conglomerates-assets