Shares of Hyundai Motor rose 25% in Seoul on Friday after South Korean media reported talks between the company and US technology giant Apple about making self-driving cars.
Hyundai confirmed this news before being contacted again to rule out any mention of Apple, however, Hyundai’s stock rally increased the company’s group manager Euisun Chung and his father Mong-Koo’s combined fortune by nearly $2 billion.
The company is already planning to launch its first electric car this year, but Apple said it needs at least 5 years to launch the first self-driving electric car, which means it is in no rush to choose its potential partners in the auto industry, investors are increasingly turning to electric vehicles and their suppliers. This drove the shares of Tesla, the industry leader, to skyrocket.
After Hyundai shares surged on Friday, Euisun Chung’s fortune increased to $4.8 billion while his father to $7.4 billion, who together directly own about 8% of the company.
Friday was also special for South Korea’s richest man, Jay Y. Lee, who owns Samsung Electronics, as his fortune increased by $2 billion by taking his company’s shares to their highest level since last March after recording a 26% growth in operating income.
But the Samsung heir faces a 9-year prison sentence for bribery, as the Seoul High Court prepares to deliver the verdict on Jan 18th.