SEOUL: South Korea’s financial regulators said yesterday they would launch an investigation into Samsung and five other business groups over alleged unfair business practices.
New South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has signalled that he wants to clamp down on the country’s family-run business empires, after previously warning that without reform, the sprawling companies could be sowing the seeds for another financial crisis.
The latest investigation comes after the head of oil refiner SK Corp was arrested on charges of illegal stock deals last month.
“We will investigate Samsung Group, LG Group, SK Group, Hyundai Motor Group, Hyundai Group and Hyundai Heavy Industries over illegal trading between affiliates,” Chang Hang-seok, a director of the investigation team at the Fair Trade Commission, told a news conference.
The investigation would take place some time over the next three months, he added.
South Korean conglomerates were widely blamed for the country’s 1997–98 financial crisis after they accumulated huge debts for expansion. – Reuters
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