Shares of Samsung-owned companies rose on Monday after news on the weekend that the company’s Chairman Lee Kun-hee died on Sunday.
Lee (78) held a 20.76% stake in Samsung Life while his son and heir apparent Jay Y. Lee has a 17.3% stake in Samsung C&T, a holding company.
A group of companies owned by Samsung saw their shares race higher, as Samsung C&T and Samsung Life Insurance gained 13.5% and 3.8%, respectively. The biggest firm in a group – Samsung Electronics – closed the day 0.3% higher despite trading about 1.5% higher earlier in the session.
Investors are hoping that Lee’s death will pave the way for a much-needed restructuring of the business and higher dividends.
“The inheritance tax is outrageous, so family members might have no choice but to sell stakes in some non-core firms,” NH Investment Securities analyst Kim Dong-yang was quoted by Reuters.
Some analysts also believe that higher dividends may be needed to cover extremely high inheritance taxes in South Korea.
“It may be likely for Samsung C&T to consider increasing dividends for the family to cover such a high inheritance tax,” KB Securities analyst Jeong Dong-ik said.
Samsung Electronics share price closed at 60400, or 0.3% higher on the day. Last week, the share price logged an 8-month high.
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