The man who helped to grow his father’s small trading business into an economic powerhouse, Lee Kun-hee passed away yesterday. He was the richest man in South Korea, with a net worth of about $21bn (or R340bn). A somewhat expected spike in Samsung’s stocks followed his death.
Why? It happened due to expectations of restructuring that’ll happen within the parent company on Samsung and its smaller firms. His unfortunate death means that the holding company Samsung Electronics will have more firm control over its subsidiaries — but it goes deeper than that.
This morning, when Samsung Electronics and its other affiliates’ stock prices surged upward, investors were giddy. They had been expecting this exact thing to happen to the Samsung market prices. Many had predicted that such a measure might attract a hefty inheritance tax to the tune of 10 trillion won (or $8.9 billion). And they may just as well sell… or they may not. It’s difficult for anyone to actually know for sure. This is the stock exchange, right?
Just to put this into perspective: “Samsung Global shares jumped 1% this morning, Samsung SDS shares were up by 8.12%, Samsung C&T jumped 17.31%, Samsung Life Insurance 5.86%, Samsung Engineering 0.45%, and Samsung BioLogics 0.47%,” according to Coinspeaker.
But Lee has had a bumpy road, especially when it comes to money. “He stepped down as Samsung chairman in 2008 after he was charged with tax evasion and embezzlement. He was handed a three-year suspended jail sentence for tax evasion but was given a presidential pardon in 2009 and went on to lead South Korea’s successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics,” the BBC reports.
Lee passed away with his family beside him. His son, Jay Y Lee who is currently the vice-chairman at Samsung, also attended.