By Cho Jin-seo
Yeouido is no longer the financial center of Seoul, at least in terms of financial assets.
Samsung Group's relocation to the Gangnam area has propelled the wealth concentration in the southern part of Seoul, according to research.
Gangnam now has more financial assets registered than Yeongdeungpo, which includes the banking district of Yeouido.
Almost 39.7 percent of stocks, bonds, investment funds and other assets in Seoul are registered in the three neighboring boroughs of Gangnam, Seocho and Songpa, the report from Yonhap said Monday.
The portion of wealth for the three districts has increased by 6.3 points from the previous number in a survey conducted by the same researchers in 2006. It came to 95.5 trillion won, while the city as a whole marked 240.8 trillion won.
Gangnam topped the asset list as its financial assets swelled to 55.6 trillion won from 41.8 trillion won three years ago. On the contrary, those registered in Yeongdeungpo slightly decreased to 54.7 trillion won from 57.4 trillion won.
Most securities firms have their headquarters in Yeouido, Yeongdeungpo-gu. But firms are opening their new branch offices in the three Gangnam boroughs. Among a total of 512 branches of securities firms, 220 are located there.
"The creation of wealth has been intense in the Gangnam area where people with large financial assets live. Big companies such as Hyundai Motor and POSCO also have main offices here. The wealth gap is inevitably expanding between regions," Park Mi-kyung of Korea Investment & Securities was quoted as saying.
The news agency compiled data from corporate accounts and individual accounts at the 10 largest securities firms in Seoul.
There are 25 districts in Seoul, a city of over 10 million people, and the disparity of wealth has been increasingly clear between the northern and southern districts.
The core area of Gangnam, Seocho and Songpa has been heavily developed since the 1970s. It is favored by the affluent because of the high concentration of good schools and private educational institutions.
Many high-tech companies also have headquarters in the area, especially in the stretch along subway line 2 from Gangnam to Samseong Station.
The report showed that the relocation of Samsung Group headquarters from Jung-gu in central Seoul to Gangnam has contributed to a large part of the wealth concentration in the south.
While Gangnam has gained some 14 trillion won of financial assets, Jongno in central Seoul has lost 8.4 trillion won.
Guro-gu in southwestern Seoul was another winner during the period, as some high-tech, Internet companies escaped from the expensive Gangnam and settled in Guro instead. Its financial assets were valued at 3.9 trillion won, up from 1.1 trillion won in 2006.