Samsung stocks rebound but Lee’s detention raises doubts on pledges for transform

George T. Taft

SEOUL (Reuters) – Shares in Samsung Electronics and affiliate marketers rebounded on Tuesday, reversing losses stemming from Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee’s receiving a two-and-a-50 percent 12 months jail term on Monday.

Samsung Team heir Jay Y. Lee comes at a court docket in Seoul, South Korea, January 18, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Analysts explained the shorter-lived impact of Lee’s detention on share prices is related to what took place the initial time Lee was imprisoned in 2017, despite what might be extra reactivity to information and rumours mainly because of improved retail trader participation in the stock sector.

But company governance industry experts worry Lee’s pledge to make compliance a best priority may well lose steam, in particular due to the fact it is no for a longer period a aspect of his case for leniency.

Lee entered a detention centre on Monday following the Seoul Superior Court sentenced him to prison for bribing an associate of previous President Park Geun-hye and other prices. Mainly because he has presently served a person year in jail, he will serve 18 additional months.

In his closing statement to the court docket in December, Lee pledged a “new Samsung”, which includes guaranteeing labour union routines and not handing above management legal rights to his young children at the family-managed conglomerate.

What’s more, he promised “stricter compliance and clear operation” of the so-referred to as Enterprise Support Undertaking Power, a group in Samsung Electronics, some of whose executives a Seoul court docket found responsible of destroying proof about an affiliate’s accounting tactics, mentioned to be aimed at aiding strengthen Lee’s command of the tech huge.

“I will rework my head and stance and generate a complete compliance technique that can resist undue tension,” Lee stated.


An unbiased compliance committee, established up past yr soon after the Seoul Higher Courtroom began proceedings, mentioned it would proceed meeting with CEOs and earning suggestions inspite of remaining dismissed by the courtroom on Monday as ineffective.

“Regardless of the end result of the demo, the committee is identified to continue its obligations faithfully,” a committee formal explained to Reuters, including that the members have a two-12 months term, which can be prolonged.

But corporate governance professionals expressed scepticism, noting that such attempts are very likely to peter out.

“The committee is an organisation rapidly shaped for the trial. There had been and nevertheless are extensive compliance organisations within just about every affiliate, but the dilemma was that none of them could examine the steps of the conglomerate’s owner family,” mentioned Park Sang-in, professor at Seoul Countrywide College and a company governance professional.

Samsung shares might display much more volatility in the short time period in unique with the new inflow of retail buyers driving a liquidity growth, which includes individuals hoping for extra generous dividend payouts by Samsung supposed to “create a fantastic corporate image” in Lee’s defence, explained Park Sung-quickly, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

Soon after slipping on Monday and early Tuesday, shares in Samsung Electronics and affiliate marketers Samsung C&T and Samsung Life Insurance coverage reversed losses and rose 2.5%, .7% and .5% respectively as of 0621 GMT, compared with a 2.6% rise in the wider marketplace.

“On the day (Lee) went to jail in 2017, stocks fell, but in the extended operate, it did not have an impact on the price substantially. The vice chairman’s imprisonment does not transform the company’s fundamentals,” Park of Cape Investment added.

In 2017-2018, throughout Lee’s year-very long detention, Samsung Electronics shares rose 27% on the back of strong memory chip demand.

Retail investors were net potential buyers really worth 177 million won of Samsung Electronics shares in 2020, buying from overseas traders and South Korean institutions, in accordance to Korea Trade details.

Reporting by Joyce Lee Additional reporting by Heekyong Yang and Joori Roh Enhancing by Jack Kim and Gerry Doyle

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