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Samsung denies rumors of chairman’s death

By Korea Herald

Published : June 30, 2016 - 14:35

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[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Group on June 30 denied rumors that the company would be officially announcing the death of chairman Lee Kun-hee on this day.

“It’s a groundless rumor,” said one high-ranking Samsung Group official on the condition of anonymity.

Industry sources said earlier in the day that at 3:00 p.m., Samsung Group would be issuing an announcement of Lee’s death.

The chairman has been recovering from a heart attack he suffered in May 2014. 


Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee (right) and his son Jae-yong (left) Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee (right) and his son Jae-yong (left)

The same sources said Samsung has already reported to Cheong Wa Dae of the announcement.

Share prices of Samsung-related shares – particularly those linked with Samsung Group’s succession process — jumped on the news.

Samsung Electronics share prices rose 2 percent in intra-day trading. Samsung Life and Samsung SDS rose 4 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Samsung C&T rose 7 percent.

This is not the first time that rumors of Lee’s death have made rounds.

Previously in April 2015, such speculation had led to stock market fluctuations amounting to roughly 20 trillion won (US$ 17 billion).

Some industry watchers and sources within Samsung said the latest rumors may have been spread by investors seeking to bolster the value of Samsung-related stocks.

The KOSPI was trading 0.59 percent higher as of 2:31 p.m. Local markets have been bearish the last few days after Britain decided to depart from the European Union on June 24. 

Adding to the market turmoil, institutional investors will be required to issue disclosures of short sale positions amounting to 0.5 percent of their outstanding capital as of July 1.

By Kim Ji-hyun (jemmie@heraldcorp.com)