Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chaebol went to peddle

There is such a word in Korea - "chebol". It denotes the largest industrial corporation, a conglomerate, really affecting the economy. Examples of "cheboley" - all known LG, Hyundai and, of course, Samsung. It is the latest "chebol" now found itself in the centre of global attention because of the scandalous resignation of the board of directors and heads of several other top managers. Here you can see a lot of interesting things.

To begin with, probably, have to explain some purely Korean characteristics. Today, South Korea - the fourth largest economy in Asia, modern high-tech state. But the social organization of South Korea remained at a medieval level. Explain: the entire population of Korea is divided into clans, and each yuzhnokoreets prichislyaet themselves to any of them. A total of about 70 clans. And top of each of the clans usually controls a "chebol". Lee Hong-hee, 66 - year old head of a clan, still led by Samsung Group (Samsung is translated from Korean means "three stars") and is considered the most influential South Korean businessman. Samsung - it is the largest South Korean industrial conglomerate, known brand and one of the pillars of its powerful economy. We Samsung is most known as a manufacturer of electronics and home appliances. But the reality is that industrial group Samsung does business in the financial, shipbuilding, automobile, chemical, entertainment and many other fields.

Samsung manages trading networks and manufactures microelectronics, and also owns several banks. A total of Samsung Group includes 60 companies. And now news, literally shook South Korea: resigned president of the board of directors of Samsung, Lee Hong-hee himself, driving a "chebolem" more than 20 years. Several generations of Li managed corporation since its inception in 1938. And now, many analysts say: the resignation of Lee - a first step in removing Li family, many members of which occupy senior positions in Samsung, a conglomerate of management. The issue only, whether one of the country's richest families back from the company. Let me remind you that himself scandal flared in January this year when investigators Korean prosecutors have begun an investigation into the top management Samsung on charges of creating a special secret fund to bribe officials. The fund allegedly was needed to avoid persecution by the authorities because of a scandal involving illicit transactions in company shares. In April, Lee Hong-hee was questioned by investigators. His guilt, he admitted, and also stated that any fund in bribes Samsung has never been established. The investigation is confirmed, but it turned out that Lee still violated the law. Now the most influential South Korean businessman accused of tax evasion. C son Lee Hong-hee, is still employed as vice-president of Samsung Electronics, also resigned. It is expected that he will continue to work in Samsung on another post, presumably in one of the foreign missions. Notably, over time, Lee Jr. was supposed to take place in the Samsung his father. In addition, Samsung Group will leave four more top-manager - all of the "family". In addition, Samsung committed the leaders to dissolve the strategic planning department, which investigators believe an opaque structure that can affect all affiliated with a group of 60 companies including Samsung Electronics - leader of Samsung Group. The point is that, although Lee clan members themselves have only a small proportion of shares of Samsung, they may affect the business of industrial conglomerate through a complex structure of cross other firms. At the top of the pyramid - Non-public Everland, which manages the amusement park, actually a holding company for the entire Samsung. Centralized control of the company Samsung allows management to be more independent from shareholders and investors, successfully implementing long-term strategies.

Care Li from the post of chairman of the board of directors Samsung naturally aroused serious concerns among a significant part of South Korean analysts who believe that with his resignation in "chebole" a power vacuum, and management structure would be disrupted. That is why Lee Hong-hee has been arrested and remains at large, although he threatens to life imprisonment. Korean prosecutors formally stated that the arrest of a businessman cause substantial damage to Samsung, that generally affect the economy of the country. The fear is logical, given the fact that Samsung provides a fifth of the total South Korean exports. Need to be fair to say that many companies belonging to the group, long and extremely successful work and compete in the international market, so Lee is unlikely to care affect their operations and financial performance. However, in order to reduce the influence of Li family at Samsung, will require much more time and effort. So, despite shaken corporate scandals, in general affairs at Samsung are very good. Samsung Electronics has recently published a report on the work in I quarter of 2008 Reported Samsung revenue in the period from January to March inclusive, was $ 17.2 billion This is approximately 19% higher than a similar figure for the first quarter of 2007, net profit companies during the period reached $ 2.2 billion

For comparison: Samsung year earlier received $ 1.6 billion net profit. It turns out that the amount for the year Samsung quarterly profit rose by 37%. Impressive result for such a large corporation, long ago passed the period of rapid growth. Top managers Samsung indicate that in the past quarter has seen good demand for LCD panel large size - with a diagonal of 46 inches or more. As a result, business companies associated with the production of LCD-TVs, Samsung has brought to 53% more revenue than a year earlier. To consolidate the success, Samsung jointly with Sony plans to open new enterprise for the production of LCD panels. It will be invested approximately $ 2.7 billion Other successful trend - cellular phones, which are growing rapidly. Last quarter the company has sold 33% more ringtones than a year earlier. As a result, to date, Samsung controls 16.4% of the world market of cellular phones, yielding to the volume of supplies only Finnish giant Nokia. But sales of memory modules Samsung DRAM production in the first quarter of this year declined by about 2%. However, this is attributable to the overall downturn in the industry. But in any case, now shares the cost of growing and Samsung has already reached two-year maximum.

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