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Employees get more than $200,000 on average

There is a Korean company where the average employee earns more than $200,000 a year. The name of this firm is Celltrion Healthcare, the distribution arm of Korean pharmaceutical company Celltrion.

Market research firm FnGuide said May 7 that Celltrion Healthcare paid its workers 241 million won ($205,000) on average in 2018, the highest among Korea’s listed firms.

Celltrion Healthcare took the top place thanks to its large amount of stock options. Although annual paychecks there are not great, many rank-and-file employees took home more than $1 million last year in stock options.

The Incheon-based company went public midway through 2017 and many of its 130 employees hold stock options.

More often than not, Celltrion Healthcare has been mired in controversies over its accounting practices. Late last year, the country’s financial regulator started an audit of the firm regarding its sale of the domestic distribution rights to Celltrion.

Celltrion and Celltrion Healthcare don’t have shares in each other, but Celltrion founder Seo Jung-jin is the largest shareholder of both.

The entrepreneur himself is the biggest shareholder of Celltrion Healthcare. Celltrion’s top shareholder is Celltrion Holdings, which is owned by Chairman Seo.

Despite such doubts, Celltrion Healthcare fared well in the Seoul bourse, which greatly benefited its employees last year.

Coming in at second was S-Oil, the country’s third-largest oil refinery, which provided a paycheck of 138 million won ($118,000) on average, followed by Meritz Securities with 135 million won ($115,000).

S-Oil took the second position without stock options, so in other words, it was the most generous employer in terms of regular paychecks in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

Also included in the highest-paying employers’ list are SK Innovation, Samsung Securities, and Genexine to name but a few.


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