Brokerage house condemns Samsung’s delay in transition to holding firm

SEOUL-- A local brokerage house on Monday criticized Samsung Electronics Co. for putting off its plan to adopt a holding-company structure, stressing the top smartphone maker should have been more cautious when approaching the issue.

The tech giant said through a regulatory filing in November that it will seek a change in the management structure, which includes splitting itself into a holding company and an operating company to boost shareholder returns.

Last week during a shareholders' meeting, however, Samsung said the company has been reviewing various aspects, including rules and taxations linked to the transition, and claimed it will "not be easy" to make a transition in the near future.

HI Investment and Securities Co. said it was inappropriate for Samsung to make such a remark after having made the regulatory filing.

"While Samsung says the external and internal situations have changed since the filing, the only things that have changed is the arrest of Lee Jae-yong and the presidential election slated for May," the report said.

Lee, the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and the de facto leader of Samsung Group, has been detained since last month over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye. Industry watchers had speculated it would not be easy for the company to make major decisions when its head is currently behind bars.

The securities firm said the restructuring should not focus on the benefit of the owner family but move forward following set rules.

"Issues related to the reorganization are not only sensitive but also hold great influence on share prices. They should be reviewed carefully," the report added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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