Top financial regulator to decide on qualifications of Samsung heiresses

Top financial regulator to decide on qualifications of Samsung heiresses


South Korea’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), will decide whether two daughters of the late Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee are qualified to become major shareholders of Samsung Life Insurance, the country’s biggest life insurer.

The daughters are Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin and Samsung Welfare Foundation chief Lee Seo-hyun, according to a report by The Korea Herald.

The policymaking FSC is expected to decide in their favour, paving their way to becoming the company’s largest shareholders, industry sources said yesterday. The regulator is to hold a meeting on 7 July to discuss whether to confirm the bereaved family members‘ application for the change of the largest shareholder of Samsung Life Insurance, which was submitted on 26 April.

The family had reported to the FSC that they shared the late chief’s 20.76% stake in the life insurer with the eldest son, Jae-yong, who receives half of this stake. With the 0.06% which he already holds, his stake in Samsung Life Insurance rises to 10.44%.

The second daughter Boo-jin and the youngest Seo-hyun inherit 6.92% and 3.46%, respectively, according to the company’s regulatory filing released on 30 April.

Under the current regulations, a company’s significant shareholders who are inheriting a large amount of stocks should pass the FSC’s eligibility assessment, to maintain their status as a key shareholder.

Samsung Life Insurance plays a key role in controlling Samsung Electronics, as the tech giant’s largest shareholder with an 8.51% stake.

Meanwhile, the qualification reviews for Jae-yong, the largest individual shareholder of Samsung Life Insurance, will be held separately later this year. He controls an additional 19.34% of Samsung Life Insurance through de facto holding company Samsung C&T which has a 5% stake in Samsung Electronics.

The late Samsung chairman, who built the country’s largest conglomerate, died in October last year, aged 78, more than six years after being hospitalised for a heart attack in 2014. He held a 4.18% stake in Samsung Electronics and 2.88% in Samsung C&T. He left behind assets amounting to more than KRW22tn ($19bn).



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