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South Korea halts review of Samsung Securities' mega investment bank application


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South Korea halts review of Samsung Securities' mega investment bank application

South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service, or FSS, halted its review of Samsung Securities Co. Ltd.'s application to become a mega investment bank and engage in short-term financing business due to the ongoing trial of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, The Korea Herald reported Aug. 10, citing a regulatory filing from the company.

Lee is the son of Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee. He is currently in prison over allegations of offering bribes to former President Park Geun-hye's confidante Choi Soon-sil in return for business favors. Lee and his father own 0.06% and 20.76% stakes, respectively, in Samsung Life Insurance Co. Ltd., which is the largest shareholder of Samsung Securities.

The regulator said it will resume the review after the court issues its final verdict in the case by the end of August.

Samsung Securities was one of the five major South Korean securities companies which applied with the FSS in July for mega investment bank licenses and approval to engage in short-term financing business. Under new rules, local securities companies with a net worth of 4 trillion won or more will be allowed to issue, trade, broker and buy short-term promissory notes.

As of Aug. 10, US$1 was equivalent to 1,145.22 South Korean won.