Tag: Park

South Korea prosecutors expand charges against Samsung boss

South Korea’s special prosecutor’s office has expanded charges against Samsung boss Jay Lee to include hiding the proceeds of a criminal act.

Prosecutors are seeking a warrant to arrest Lee as part of the President Park Sang-jin bribery scandal.

Lee and the Samsung have denied doing anything wrong and President Park was already bribed when they got there.

A Seoul court said on Tuesday it would hold a hearing to decide on the prosecution’s request for warrants to arrest Jay Y. Lee and Samsung and other charges.

This is a second go for the prosecutors to arrest Lee as so far there had not been enough to have him arrested. South Korea is always reluctant to arrest the bosses of its super companies claiming that there was an economic impact from locking up CEO’s.

Jay’s old man was convicted and imprisoned for a while on similar charges until he was officially pardoned so that he could go back and make lots of money for Samsung and South Korea.  It is fairly likely that Jay will get an automatic get out of jail free card even if he is convicted.

Samsung makes record chip earnings

scrooge-mcduckSamsung Electronics saw record chip earnings which meant it could gloss over the Note 7 smartphone fiasco in the fourth quarter.

The outfit, which is involved in an influence-peddling scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye, said it expects profit growth in 2017, despite challenges arising from political uncertainty.

The political uncertainty appears to be whether the South Korean government will make Samsung executives accountantable for the scam. So far, the smart money is that it will probably not do that.

Samsung Electronics said in a statement that all this was creating an “uncertain business environment” although it did hint that there was also a changing political landscape abroad too.

All this poses a challenge to the execution of mid- to long-term business strategies, such as M&A and investment decisions and developing new growth engines.

Even so, it flagged higher earnings this year after a slow first quarter, when steeper marketing costs will eat into its bottom line as it tries to rebuild its reputation from the failure of its latest flagship phone.

The world’s top manufacturer of smartphones, memory chips and flat-screen televisions is counting on the booming chip market to continue driving growth and give the mobile business breathing space to rebuild its premium lineup.

The company forecast “stable demand” in 2017 for memory chips, which hit an all-time earnings high in the October-December period.

Fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 50 percent $7.93 billion which was its highest in over three years and matching its prior guidance. Earnings from the chips business soared 77 percent year-on-year. Revenue were flat.

In its mobile business, operating profit rose 12 percent in the fourth quarter as models such as the Galaxy S filled the void following the discontinuation of the fire-prone Note 7 in October.

Samsung claimed that defective batteries caused the Note 7 handsets to overheat and catch fire, and indicated that it may delay the launch of its next premium Galaxy S smartphone as it overhauls its product safety systems.

While the mobile business is struggling, the positive outlook for memory chips used in mobile devices and OLED televisions propelled Samsung’s shares to a series of record-highs this month.

Samsung CEO is a suspect in Park probe

downloadA South Korean special prosecutor’s office has said that Samsung supreme dalek Jay Lee is a suspect in an influence-peddling scandal that led to a parliamentary vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye.

Inspector Knacker of the Korean Yard is looking sideways at Samsung payments of $25 million for a business and foundations backed by Park’s friend, Choi Soon-sil. The question is if these were connected to a 2015 decision by the national pension service to back a controversial merger of two group affiliates.

Samsung has admitted that it made payments to two foundations as well as a consulting firm controlled by Choi. The prosecution this week summoned two senior Samsung Group officials for questioning, though they were listed as witnesses.

Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for the special prosecution team, told a briefing the Samsung leader had been summoned for questioning  tomorrow over suspicions including bribery, but did not elaborate.

National Pension Service chief Moon Hyung-pyo was arrested in December after acknowledging he pressured the fund to approve the merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in 2015 while he was health minister.

Lee, 48, denied bribery accusations during a parliamentary hearing in December, rejecting assertions from lawmakers that Samsung lobbied to get the fund to vote in favour of the merger.

The special prosecutors’ office said it was considering whether Lee gave false testimony during the parliamentary hearing.

“Samsung is the one that has made the biggest contributions among conglomerates and it had an exclusive relationship with Choi Soon-sil, buying a horse,” Shin said, referring to the firm’s sponsorship of Choi’s daughter’s equestrian career.

 

South Korea mulls arresting Samsung execs

arrestThe political scandal threatening South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye is hotting up with coppers wondering if they should arrest two Samsung executives.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported that the prosecution would seek to arrest two Samsung executives.

However, the prosecutors’ office later said that pair, Samsung Group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung and President Chang Choong-ki, both of whom were summoned for questioning on Monday, were considered witnesses.

The two were questioned by investigators looking into whether the country’s top conglomerate paid bribes to get the country’s national pension fund to approve a controversial merger between two Samsung affiliates.

Park could become Korea’s first democratically elected leader to leave office early after parliament voted to impeach her in December over the corruption scandal. The decision must be approved or overturned by the Constitutional Court.