Shares in Samsung Electronics and affiliates rose on Monday after the death on Sunday of Chairman Lee Kun-hee which brought hopes for stake sales, higher dividends and long-awaited restructuring. Reasons range from maintaining Lee family control and paying inheritance tax-estimate of about USD 8.9 billion. Shares in affiliate companies rose in the range of 15% thought Samsung Electronics, the crown company traded up only .5%
Lee, 78, died on Sunday, 6 years after being hospitalized due to a heart attack in 2014. Ever since Samsung has carried out a flurry of stake sales and restructuring to streamline the sprawling conglomerate.
Lee Kun hee inherited the company from his father and in his 30-year rule, turned it around into one of the biggest global brands in smartphones, TVs and memory chips besides even making screens and micro-chips for rivals. So big is Samsung that it has even bolstered Korea’s economy with interests in shipbuilding, life-insurance, hotels and amusements centres. It is reported that Samsung Electronics along
with accounts for 20% market cap of Seoul’s stock-markets! He leaves behind a huge fortune which Forbes estimates could be in the region of USD 16 billion.
Things though aren’t rosy for Samsung. It’s flagship mobile phones are seeing tough competition from makers in China and other markets. Other pressures include a lack of innovation in its hardware business, an unyielding management hierarchy, and lack of transparency in governance and working.
As regards the Late Lee, who was a leader with the reputation of speaking less and doing more, he focussed more on strategies of immense importance and left its execution as also that of other activity to executives below him