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South Korea to pardon Samsung’s Lee, other corporate giants

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The justice minister of South Korea announced on Friday that the country’s president would commute the one-year sentence of Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong for bribing a president as part of a huge corruption scandal that brought down her government.

Shin Dong-bin, the chairman of the Lotte Group, and two other prominent corporate figures will also receive pardons, continuing a tradition in South Korea of leniency toward business tycoons and serious white-collar offenses. They are among the 1,700 individuals. On Monday, a national holiday honoring Korea’s independence from Japanese colonial authority at the end of World War II, President Yoon Suk Yeol will grant pardons.

The pardon of Lee highlights Samsung’s enormous sway over a nation that depends on its exports of technology. He was found guilty of buying backing from the government for a 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates that tightened Lee’s influence over the business empire by bribing Park Geun-hye, the country’s then-president, and a close ally of hers, who were both given longer prison sentences.

On comparable charges of bribing Park, Lotte’s Shin was given a suspended prison sentence in 2018; in December, the then-President Moon Jae-in commuted the sentence. Kang Duk-soo, the former chairman of STX Group, and Chang Sae-joo, the head of Dongkuk Steel Mill, are two more businessmen who will receive pardons.

The pardons of the business tycoons, according to Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon, were intended to “overcome the economic crisis through stimulating commercial activity.” Yoon previously told reporters that his pardons might assist provide struggling domestic livelihoods “breathing room.”

As vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, one of the biggest producers of computer memory chips and cellphones in the world, Lee, 54, oversees the Samsung group. When he was released on parole by Moon’s administration in August of last year, he still had one year left on his 30-month term. The government subsequently defended its choice by citing unnamed worries about the economy and the COVID-19 outbreak.

On charges of stock price manipulation and auditing irregularities connected to the 2015 merger, Lee is still facing a separate trial.

As evidence of Samsung’s sway in a nation where it provides people with smartphones, TVs, credit cards, the apartments they live in, and the hospitals where they are born or die, opinion polls have shown that South Koreans – years removed from the enraged protests that forced Park out of office in 2017 – largely supported granting Lee a pardon.

Lee’s pardon, according to business leaders and legislators, would fully restore his rights to oversee the multinational corporation, enabling Samsung to be more daring and swift in its commercial judgments. According to South Korean legislation, those convicted of serious financial crimes are prohibited from working for five years after serving their sentences.

Critics say Lee has always been in control of Samsung, even when he was behind bars, and pretty much fully resumed his management duties following his parole. Former Justice Minister Park Beom-kye, who served under the Moon government, had defended Lee’s involvement in Samsung’s management following his parole, insisting that his activities weren’t in violation of the five-year ban because the billionaire heir wasn’t receiving wages from Samsung. Park Geun-hye was convicted of a broad range of corruption crimes, including colluding with her longtime confidante, Choi Soon-sil, to take millions of dollars in bribes and extortion from Samsung and other major companies while she was in office. She faced a prison term of more than two decades before Moon pardoned her in December, citing a need to promote unity in the politically divided nation. Chang was released on parole in 2018 with about six months left on a 3 1/2 year prison term over charges that he embezzled millions of dollars in corporate funds and used some of it to gamble in Las Vegas. South Korea’s Supreme Court last year confirmed a suspended prison sentence for Kang, who headed STX from 2003 to 2014, on charges of embezzling corporate funds and other crimes.

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51st AGM: GSK Consumer Nigeria PLC Grows Revenue By 5.42% Amid Tough Operating Environment

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GSK

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, a leading research-based pharmaceutical, and healthcare company has declared a dividend of N538.14 million for the year ended December 2021. The declaration follows an impressive 5.42% growth in revenue of N22.445 billion amidst a very challenging operating environment compared to N21.30 billion recorded in 2020.

During the Company’s 51st Annual General Meeting, which was held in Lagos, shareholders approved the dividend at 45kobo per share, representing a 11.11% increase from the 40kobo declared in 2020. The shareholders appreciated this growth and reaffirmed their belief in the leadership of the company to grow the business into the next year.

According to the financial statement of the Company, profit after tax for the year under review grew by 5.88% to N658.81 million from N622.23 million in 2020. Speaking at the AGM, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, Mr Edmund Onuzo thanked the shareholders for their support throughout the year and promised that the Board and Management will continue to explore opportunities for the growth, profitability and sustainability of the Company.

Onuzo commended the Nigerian government’s efforts to achieve economic stability in the system and stated that the country will remain on the path of growth and development if the several economic reforms of the government are diligently implemented.

“It is encouraging to note that the Nigerian government is constantly adopting different mechanisms to diversify the Nigerian economy from the single-minded posture that largely depends on oil revenue for foreign exchange. Whilst we appreciate the efforts of the Government, it is important to enjoin them to maintain the focus on improving the operating environment with more policies aimed at providing a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive”, he said.

Regarding the Company’s social support activities particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, Onuzo said GSK’s special purpose is to improve the quality of human life by helping people do more, feel better and live longer. “In 2021, through GSK’s partnership with Save the Children International (SCI) (INSPIRING project) GSK donated medical equipment, instruments, and consumables worth over N100 million to 30 health facilities in Lagos and Jigawa States in Nigeria.

Additionally, we made a direct donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and Medical Guild, Lagos to provide much-needed protection to our frontline health workers”, Onuzo explained. In his remarks, the Managing Director of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Plc, Mr Kunle Oyelana said the achievement in the year under review is reflective of a collaborative effort from all key stakeholders of the healthcare delivery subsector.

According to Oyelana, GSK is committed to remaining Nigeria’s leading healthcare company, with its pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and consumer healthcare products allowing Nigerians to do more, feel better, and live longer. “We are pleased with the results for 2021, it spoke to our dedication and partnership with stakeholders in ensuring growth in the business and the resilient spirit of the GSK team. We will continue to evolve to ensure sustained growth in our business operations bordered around our three business areas of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and consumer healthcare”, he said.

About GSK
GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. Our Head Office is located at 1, Industrial Avenue, Ilupeju. We own some of the world’s best-loved healthcare brands including Sensodyne, Macleans, Panadol, and Andrews Liver Salt. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.ng

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Sterling Bank Set To Change Name, Read Why

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Sterling Bank To Change Name, Read Why

Nigeria commercial bank, Sterling Bank Plc has moved to change its name after getting stakeholders’ consent of converting to a holding company.

This was disclosed by the board, as it will create a chance for the bank to have a controlling stake in companies where it currently holds a substantial interest.

Recall, a few days back, the bank convened a meeting of shareholders at the order of a court as part of the last key stages of the corporate reformation.

READ ALSO: CBN Increases Interest Rate For 3rd Time This Year

According to a report seen on the Nigerian Exchange Limited’s website, the bank will become known as Sterling Financial Holdings Company when the transition is delivered.

Becoming a Holding Company will see the bank have the leverage to make inroads into other sectors within financial services apart from commercial banking which its current license and those of many lenders in Nigeria do not allow.

Such sectors, comprising pension; asset management; payments, and fintech, are gaining appeal among banks and provide chances for diversification as competition for interest income, which accounts for the bulk of the revenue of the banking industry turns increasingly fierce.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings, one of the early birds that adopted the Holdco structure, is a testament that the Holdco structure is a model that works. Its pension unit controls around one-third of the N14.2 trillion assets under management as the market leader in the Nigerian pension industry.

READ ALSO: BUA Cement Investors Record N112bn Loss In 24 Hours

With the key resolutions for the scheme of arrangement now approved, the transition will proceed to its final phase where regulators including the Central Bank of Nigeria are to sanction the new entity into existence.

“The bank will transfer all the assets, liabilities, and undertakings related to the non-interest banking business to The Alternative Bank Limited,” the statement said in reference to its newest subsidiary that received in approval-in-principle in December.

Sterling Bank’s issued and paid-up share capital valued at 28.8 billion outstanding shares will passé to the holding company in exchange for the allotment of those same units to shareholders on completion.

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Victor Ikpeba Endorses Moores Energy

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Victor Ikpeba Endorses Moores Energy

Super Eagles legend, Victor Ikpeba has endorsed Moores Energy, as he encouraged residents of the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, and its environs to patronise the brand at its retailing station.

At a media launch where Ikpeba was unveiled as Moores Energy brand ambassador, the Nigerian football legend expressed confidence in the newly-established company floated by Bola Tom-Jones.

Referring to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Moores Energy, Ikpeba stated: “I have no Bola now for over a decade and I have strong confidence in her offerings. She’s someone very passionate about people, especially as it relates to their well-being. With her establishing this energy company, I believe it’s her way of contributing to Nigeria’s green energy drive.

Victor Ikpeba Endorses Moores Energy
Victor Ikpeba joins Bola Tom-Jones to unveil the newly-purchased bobtail truck of Moores Energy

The gas retailing facility of Moores Energy is fully-automated, and it is a proven solution to reduce exposure to household air pollution and disease.”

On her part, Tom-Jones expressed gratitude to Ikpeba, saying she couldn’t think of any other celebrity that carries the dignity her brand represents.

Tom-Jones further explained the unique selling proposition of her brand, as she unveiled her newly-purchased bobtail truck.

What we are doing differently at Moores Energy, is that we give our customers the assurance of getting the right quantity, and quality. So, if you are coming for your 12.5kg, you are sure to get the exact thing, and that can take you several weeks. We have as well subsidised our rates for senior citizens to encourage them to make use of cooking gas in their homes. Our products are affordable and accessible to everyone,” she added.

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