• Bloomberg

    Samsung Billionaire’s Fate at Risk Despite Role in Virus Fight

    (Bloomberg) -- While technology billionaires have been among the most visible champions of the fight against Covid-19, perhaps none has as much at stake as Jay Y. Lee., Samsung’s anointed heir.South Korea’s largest corporation and its de facto leader have been key players in one of Asia’s most successful coronavirus containment campaigns. Since March, Samsung has dispatched its own doctors to hard-hit zones, flown Korean engineers overseas via its private jet, doled out roughly $39 million worth of aid globally and played a central role in ramping up production of testing kits -- hailed by healthcare experts as a turning point in Korea’s battle against the disease.Samsung -- the world’s largest maker of memory chips, mobile devices and electronic displays -- and its fellow conglomerates helped flatten the virus curve. But for Lee, success comes at a time of particular scrutiny. The well-publicized effort burnished his image months before the denouement of a years-long scandal and trial into alleged influence-peddling and Lee’s succession plans. In the legal clash, which inflamed resentment against Korea’s most influential conglomerates, Lee stands accused of using thoroughbred horses and other gifts to buy government support for plans to cement his family’s control over the Samsung empire -- something both Samsung and he have denied.In a sign of how popular opinion will play into the case, Lee this week requested a public assessment of the validity of the indictment, invoking a measure allowing the formation of a civil panel to review cases. Then on Thursday, prosecutors, at risk of losing some authority, decided to seek an arrest warrant for the billionaire for alleged violations of capital market and audit laws, Yonhap News reported.“Samsung got on the prosecutors’ nerves. The move to request an outside review is something that’s undercutting prosecutors and could enrage them,” said Chung Sun-sup, CEO at corporate research firm Chaebul.com. “Lee might have thought that he could get support from people who distrust prosecutors.”Read more: Samsung Heir Vows an End to Family Rule After Succession ScandalLee could face a prison sentence of several years in the current trial. Regardless of Covid-19, the outcome could prove a watershed moment in the sensitive relationship between the country’s corporate chieftains and government. The hearings, which will likely wrap late this year, are regarded by many observers as a litmus test for whether Korea’s courts are truly independent of the powerful business interests that hold sway over the economy.The 51-year-old Samsung heir convened a rare press conference in May to apologize for his company’s mis-steps over succession. Swearing his children would never run the company, he pledged to give back to society and praised his fellow citizens’ dedication throughout the outbreak. “It gave me a chance to look back on our past and as a member of the business community, I feel a greater sense of responsibility,” Lee said. “I pledge to create a new Samsung that is level with the national dignity of South Korea.”The surprise announcement drew public support from both ruling and opposition parties as well as the chairperson of the Fair Trade Commission. But critics and academics pounced on Lee’s comments as bereft of substance. That’s because it came just before a deadline set by an internal Samsung oversight body for just such an apology. The independent compliance committee, established this year after a judge in the graft trial questioned Samsung’s measures to prevent legal violations such as bribery, assessed Lee’s apology as a “meaningful” step but wanted more details.“Samsung has never done as much in the past” to assuage critics of the conglomerates, said Kyungmook Lee, a business professor at Seoul National University. “As the largest chaebol in South Korea, the way they contributed to the nation during the Covid-19 crisis and apologized over past wrongdoings is helping soften public sentiment and improve the image of both the company and its heir.”That’s important because suspicion of the judiciary in Korea runs deep. Over the past decade, at least half a dozen high-profile industrial magnates have been sentenced to prison for corruption, only to have those jail terms mitigated or suspended by the courts -- including Lee’s father. Even President Moon Jae-in, who swept into power on promises to clean up endemic corporate malfeasance, grappled with public outrage after a judge in Lee’s first trial unexpectedly freed him after just a year in prison. In suspending Lee’s sentence, the judge concluded the billionaire couldn’t resist requests from a sitting president and that the greater responsibility lay with public officials. Park Geun-hye, who was impeached in 2017, has denied taking any money for herself.Paranoia about chaebols’ influence continues to dog the second phase of Lee’s hearings, which commenced late last year after the Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision to suspend the mogul’s sentence and ordered a retrial. Lee’s hearing has been delayed for months as prosecutors argue that one of the appeals court judges overseeing the current case is biased and inclined to go lightly on Lee. The justice in question has shown a flair for the dramatic by, among other things, lecturing the executive at length in October on how he can better run Samsung, advising him to take inspiration from Israeli businesses. The appeals court judge has so far kept out of the fray.“In South Korea, the public opinion often influences trials and sways verdicts,” said Heo Pil-seok, chief executive officer at Midas International Asset Management. “While Samsung’s facing several critical situations, it’s trying to make a plea for clemency to the public,” he said, referring to not just its Covid-19 efforts but also Lee’s apology.Read more: Samsung Warns of Profit Slide After Virus Slams Tech SphereSamsung and Lee’s approach to the sudden flare-up of the novel coronavirus was in many ways no different than his peers’. Noted philanthropists Bill Gates and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma donated millions or offered technical assistance. Others like Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, faced with public criticism that their companies are placing workers in jeopardy, focused their efforts on protecting the workforce. And tech corporations joined manufacturers around the globe in trying to plug a shortfall in ventilators and masks.Samsung representatives emphasized that the company’s main goal was to combat the disease, save lives and protect employees, and dismissed any suggestion they were connected to the hearing. In addition to dispatching personnel, the company also converted a training facility near Daegu into a treatment center, helped expedite business entries into China, even handed out free smartphones to quarantined patients.“Samsung Electronics is joining the global fight against COVID-19 to safeguard the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and local communities,” it said in a statement. “The smart factory program and other global relief initiatives by Samsung Electronics have nothing to do with the ongoing legal proceedings over the case of Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee. Our efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus have always been to help our employees and their families that have been impacted by this pandemic as we are all in this together.”Samsung plays an unusually crucial role in Korea’s economy and national ethos. Its transformation from economic minnow to technology export powerhouse owes much to its family-run conglomerates. Known as chaebol -- which means “wealth clique” -- these pillars of the nation’s “miracle economy” encompass household names like LG, Hyundai and SK. They’ve supported government initiatives for decades, spearheading a modernization effort that’s created world leaders in shipping, steel, and now technology and electronics.Largest of them all is Samsung. The 82-year-old conglomerate is both a symbol of the Asian country’s technological and diplomatic rise as well as a touchstone for what many think is wrong with the economy today -- the overwhelming dominance of a handful of dynasties who call the shots in everything from cars to phones.“Samsung’s striving to overhaul its image to win a positive trial ruling,” said Chae Yibai, a former opposition lawmaker and a long-time corporate governance activist, referring to the months-long virus campaign. “The entire process is like a play, with a judge taking on the role of director and the compliance committee acting as a sub-director. The leading man is Lee.”South Korea’s Chaebol, Engines of Growth and Scandal: QuickTakeIn the current drama, Lee’s star is on the rise. His approval ratings in independent surveys have climbed since the conglomerate, heeding the government’s call, swung into action in March. The top keywords in domestic internet searches covering Lee from January to April were “virus” or “management,” according to surveyor Global Bigdata Research, pushing out trial-related terms among the top 30.He’s even won over some of the smaller businesses that’ve traditionally played second fiddle to the chaebols. Local mask manufacturer E&W said its output increased about 50% after it adopted Samsung’s solutions in its facility setup and distribution. Samsung also dispatched about 10 experts to each of four test-kit makers to instruct their engineers on how to ramp up volumes while resolving bottlenecks through automation. “Keeping a sound ecosystem of SMEs is essential to Samsung as well as for the long-term benefits of all economic players,” said Junha Park, head of Samsung’s smart factory operation team.Lee’s approval rating in surveys conducted by the Global Bigdata have risen in 2020 since the outbreak. They fell to 9.77% in the two days after his public apology, down from an average of 16.37% over the 30 days prior. But negative views also plummeted to 20.6% from 44.2%, while those on the fence shot up to 72.8% from 39.4%. That latter point is key.“Credibility is very important,” said Daniel Yoo, head of global investment at Yuanta Securities Korea. “Clearly the corporate image, about Samsung and South Korea, has been improving.”Chaebol Backlash Loses Bite as Jailed Execs Walk Free: QuickTakeThe most immediate challenge for Samsung is empowering and keeping its de facto leader free during an era of heightened uncertainty. Regardless of the personal outcome of that trial, the longer-term perceptions of chaebols may hinge on Lee’s promise to corporatize Samsung. Some view his vision as the first step in finally reining in the chaebols, by breaking decades-old succession lines. Others suspect Samsung will find some other way to safeguard the Lee family’s control. That’s because it’s not up to Lee, but to the company’s shareholders and board, said Shin Se-don, an emeritus professor of economics at Sookmyung Women’s University.“The apology was unlike Samsung,” said Shin, who worked at Samsung’s research institute in the late 1980s. “After Lee’s announcement, ruling and opposition parties both suggested Lee could be legally excused. That’s different from what most people think.”(Updates with prosecutors seeking an arrest warrant in the third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • ‘Crazy World’: Film Review

    ‘Crazy World’: Film Review

    Forget everything you think you know about filmmaking and narrative continuity. Forget production values and matching eyelines. Divorce yourself from your over-reliance on the 180-degree rule and your addiction to sumptuous cinematography and slick — or even barely adequate — visual effects. Instead, for 65 glorious, gonzo minutes, put aside the troubles of this crazy […]

  • GlobeNewswire

    The Global Pilling Machine Market is expected to grow from USD 4,378.03 Million in 2018 to USD 7,093.04 Million by the end of 2025 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.13%

    New York, June 04, 2020 -- Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Global Pilling Machine Market - Premium Insight, Competitive News Feed Analysis, Company.

  • GlobeNewswire

    The Global K-12 Blended E-Learning Market is expected to grow by USD 12.27 bn during 2020-2024 progressing at a CAGR of 14% during the forecast period

    New York, June 04, 2020 -- Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Global K-12 Blended E-Learning Market 2020-2024" -.

  • Oil Slips With OPEC+ Discord and U.S. Demand Data Sowing Doubt

    Oil Slips With OPEC+ Discord and U.S. Demand Data Sowing Doubt

    (Bloomberg) -- Oil retreated from a three-month high as OPEC+ unity was threatened by a long-running feud over complying with production cutbacks, while U.S. data cast doubt on the strength of the demand recovery.Futures in New York fell around 2% to below $37 a barrel after closing at the highest since March 6. Saudi Arabia and Russia have reached a preliminary deal to extend output curbs for an extra month, but it’s conditional on other members making deeper cuts in the months ahead to make up for past non-compliance, people familiar with the matter said. The two leading producers have lost their patience with the errant behavior of the next-biggest, Iraq.Meanwhile in the U.S., diesel demand fell to a 21-year low last week and gasoline stockpiles swelled, according to Energy Information Administration data. The figures suggest that fuel consumption in the world’s largest oil consumer isn’t recovering as quickly as previously anticipated.While oil prices have rebounded rapidly since mid-April, the rally is faltering amid several headwinds. The White House is suspending passenger flights from Chinese airlines as relations between the world’s two biggest economies continue to worsen, while civil unrest across the U.S. is complicating the economic recovery from the virus and risking a second wave of infections.West Texas Intermediate for July delivery dropped 2% to $36.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 12:59 p.m. in Singapore after rising 1.3% on Wednesday. Brent for August settlement declined 1.5% to $39.21 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange after trading above $40 for the first time in almost three months in the previous session.“The OPEC+ decision will be key for price direction over the next week, with a potential extension providing some limited upside,” said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING Bank NV. However, there’s a disconnect between the rise in oil prices and weak refining margins, suggesting the rally has gotten a bit ahead of itself at least in the near term, he said.Riyadh and Moscow are aligned on continuing cuts at the current level for an extra month beyond July 1. But if they don’t receive assurances from Iraq and the other laggards at their next meeting -- scheduled for June 9-10 -- the group’s daily supply curbs will ease to 7.7 million barrels for the rest of 2020.The OPEC+ disagreements are coming to a head as higher prices have already spurred some U.S. producers to bring wells back online. EOG Resources Inc., America’s largest shale-focused producer, and Permian driller Parsley Energy Inc. are preparing to ramp up output just weeks after turning off the taps.Diesel supplied in the U.S. tumbled 17% to 2.72 million barrels a day last week, according to the EIA, while gasoline inventories rose by a higher-than forecast 2.8 million barrels. Overall crude stockpiles fell by 2.1 million barrels and inventories at the storage hub at Cushing declined for a fourth week.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Europe & MEA Food Phosphate Market to hit $300 million by 2026, Says Global Market Insights, Inc.

    Selbyville, Delaware, June 04, 2020 -- The Europe & MEA Food Phosphate Market is poised to cross USD 300 million by 2026, according to a new research report by Global.

  • Halo Labs Announces Partnership with Zkittlez™ Providing Award Winning Genetics in Oregon
    Business Wire

    Halo Labs Announces Partnership with Zkittlez™ Providing Award Winning Genetics in Oregon

    Halo Labs Inc. ("Halo" or the "Company") (NEO: HALO, OTCQX: AGEEF, Germany: A9KN) is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into an exclusive strategic partnership with Terphogz™, LLC ("Zkittlez™") to develop and commercialize new and unique cannabis genetics in Oregon.

  • Faradion Announces Major Partnership With IPLTech for Developing Sodium-ion Batteries for Commercial Vehicles in India
    PR Newswire

    Faradion Announces Major Partnership With IPLTech for Developing Sodium-ion Batteries for Commercial Vehicles in India

    Faradion Ltd., the British company that is a world leader in sodium-ion battery technology, has announced a new partnership with Infraprime Logistics Technologies (IPLTech) for its high energy sodium-ion batteries for use in commercial vehicles in the Indian market.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Start of Day Message

    LONDON, 04 Jun. 2020-- This is the Start of Day Message for GlobeNewswire. GlobeNewswire is operated by Intrado and is designated by the FCA as an approved primary information.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Santhera Receives Financing Commitment of up to CHF 20 Million from Fund Managed by Highbridge Capital Management

    Pratteln, Switzerland, June 4, 2020 – Santhera Pharmaceuticals (SANN.SW) announces that it has entered into a commitment letter for a financing facility providing for the issuance of senior secured exchangeable notes to an investment fund managed by Highbridge Capital Management, LLC, an existing investor in the Company. The financing instrument would make available up to CHF 20.0 million in near-term liquidity to Santhera and is expected to provide a runway to advance value-enhancing development and pre-commercialization activities for the neuromuscular compounds Puldysa® and vamorolone. “This financing will immediately improve Santhera’s liquidity and allow us to pursue our operational plans past important inflection points,” commented Dario Eklund, Chief Executive Officer of Santhera.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Roche’s Elecsys IL-6 test receives FDA Emergency Use Authorisation to help in identifying patients at high risk of severe inflammatory response

    Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the Elecsys® IL-6 test. This test measures levels of the biomarker interleukin 6 (IL-6) and can be used to help identify patients with confirmed COVID-19 disease who could be at high risk of intubation with mechanical ventilation.

  • GlobeNewswire


    -- Integrated Safety Analysis from the Phase 3 FINCH and Phase 2 DARWIN Programs Informs Long-Term Safety Profile of Filgotinib in RA -- -- Data Presented at The European.

  • Ferring and Igenomix Collaborate to Advance Care in Reproductive Medicine and Maternal Health
    Business Wire

    Ferring and Igenomix Collaborate to Advance Care in Reproductive Medicine and Maternal Health

    Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Igenomix announce a two-year research collaboration aimed at the discovery of novel targets and disease mechanisms.

  • Qubz Becomes MGID's Exclusive Representative in the MENA Region
    PR Newswire

    Qubz Becomes MGID's Exclusive Representative in the MENA Region

    MGID and Qubz have announced a strategic partnership aiming to provide enhanced advertising efficacy to MENA marketers and beyond. Armed with MGID's innovative advertising technology and campaign optimization tools, Qubz will exclusively represent MGID in the Middle East and North Africa.

  • GlobeNewswire

    ObsEva Announces Publication of Data Showing Efficacy of Linzagolix in a Potential New Indication for Treatment of Adenomyosis

    ObsEva SA (OBSV) (SIX:OBSN), a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing novel therapies to improve women’s reproductive health, today reported publication in the journal Fertility and Sterility of “Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone Antagonist (linzagolix): a New Therapy for Uterine Adenomyosis,” a case report from a pilot study assessing the use of linzagolix for the treatment of uterine adenomyosis. Adenomyosis is an estrogen-driven condition in which endometrial tissue (inner uterine lining) is present within the myometrium (muscular uterine wall), resulting in uterine enlargement, heavy menstrual bleeding, dysmenorrhea (painful menses) and infertility. Adenomyosis affects between 20 and 35% of reproductive-aged women, and may co-exist with endometriosis and/or uterine fibroids.

  • South Korea seeks arrest of Samsung heir in succession probe

    South Korea seeks arrest of Samsung heir in succession probe

    South Korean prosecutors have requested an arrest warrant against Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee, they said on Thursday, in the investigation of a controversial 2015 merger and alleged accounting fraud in a suspected bid to aid his succession plans. Lee already faces trial on a charge of bribery aimed at winning support to succeed ailing group patriarch Lee Kun-hee, and which involved former President Park Geun-hye, and spent a year in detention until the bribery case was suspended in 2018. Samsung declined to comment.

  • Kitty Hawk moves on from its original flying car project

    Kitty Hawk moves on from its original flying car project

    The Larry Page-backed flying car company Kitty Hawk has shut down work on its first vehicle, the Flyer, and shifted focus to its larger electric plane, dubbed Heaviside.

  • Europe’s stock-market rally is leaving the U.S. behind as ECB and governments step up, analysts say

    Europe’s stock-market rally is leaving the U.S. behind as ECB and governments step up, analysts say

    After years of lagging behind their U.S. counterparts, European stocks are leading the charge higher. There may be room for more outperformance as the European Central Bank — and eurozone governments — maintain stimulus, analysts say.

  • Reuters

    One New York police officer shot, one slashed in Brooklyn, unclear if protest related -NYPD

    One New York police officer was shot shortly before midnight Wednesday and another officer was slashed in Brooklyn, police said, but it was unclear if the attack was related to ongoing protests. Both officers were injured near Church and Flatbush avenues in Brooklyn and were taken to Kings County Hospital, police said. The incident comes amid the mass protests and some rioting in New York over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while in custody of white police officers.

  • GlobeNewswire

    The Global Pigmentation Disorders Treatment Market is expected to grow from USD 4,957.15 Million in 2018 to USD 7,848.12 Million by the end of 2025 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.78%

    New York, June 04, 2020 -- Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Global Pigmentation Disorders Treatment Market - Premium Insight, Competitive News Feed.

  • GlobeNewswire

    The Global Advanced Baby Monitor Market is expected to grow by $ 191.36 mn during 2020-2024 progressing at a CAGR of 6% during the forecast period

    New York, June 04, 2020 -- Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Global Advanced Baby Monitor Market 2020-2024" -.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of BTO.TO earnings conference call or presentation 6-May-20 5:00pm GMT

    Q1 2020 B2Gold Corp Earnings Call

  • Taiwan Draws Up Plan to Woo $1.3 Billion of Annual Tech Research

    Taiwan Draws Up Plan to Woo $1.3 Billion of Annual Tech Research

    (Bloomberg) -- Taiwan is dangling incentives to attract more than NT$40 billion ($1.3 billion) of annual investments in research and technology, creating a seven-year blueprint to safeguard the island’s lead in semiconductors and other cutting-edge fields.As part of the initiative, the cabinet plans to allocate more than NT$10 billion to entice foreign chipmakers to set up R&D facilities locally, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. The government said Thursday it aims to subsidize as much as half of all research and development costs incurred by global chip companies that build centers on the island.The endeavor escalates global competition for much-sought-after semiconductor technology and is intended to build on the island’s technology industry, led by major players such as key Apple Inc. suppliers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Taiwan has been caught in the middle of a clash between the U.S. and China over the development of chip technology that powers everything from smartphones to 5G base stations.Last month, the Trump administration barred any chipmaker using American equipment from supplying China’s Huawei Technologies Co. without approval, dealing a major blow to TSMC -- the world’s largest contract chipmaker -- and its peers.Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has pledged to transform Taiwan into an R&D hub for emerging technologies. Her government is now pursuing more foreign tech investments from multinationals seeking to shift out of China over concerns about the intensifying U.S.-China trade war and their desire to reduce dependency on the world’s second-largest economy.The incentive program is mainly targeted at makers of memory chips, though part of it will also be used to attract global 5G and artificial intelligence technology companies.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • HSBC, StanChart shares rise in Hong Kong after backing China security law

    HSBC, StanChart shares rise in Hong Kong after backing China security law

    Hong Kong-listed shares of HSBC and Standard Chartered rose on Thursday after the banks backed China's imposition of a national security law on the city, even as a pro-democracy and newly formed financial workers' union criticized the move. HSBC shares <0005.HK> were up 1.6% at noon, after having risen as much as 2.8% earlier, and StanChart <2888.HK> jumped 2.3%. In a break from their usual policy of political neutrality, both banks on Wednesday backed the national security law that has drawn global condemnation and revived anti-government demonstrations in the former British colony.

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