Samsung Group will halt its weekly meeting of top executives for the time being after the group's de facto chief, Lee Jae-yong, was arrested over his alleged role in the presidential influence-peddling scandal, group officials said Monday.
Lee, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics who has denied any wrongdoing, was arrested last Friday over the scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
Samsung has held the weekly meeting every Wednesday and the temporary suspension of the meeting appears to be aimed at focusing on the group's day-to-day management.
Special prosecutors investigating the scandal accused Lee of paying bribes worth about US$40 million among other charges.
Lee has played a key role in the group's important business affairs since his father, Lee Kun-hee, was hospitalized in 2014.
Separately, international ratings agency Standard and Poor's said Monday that the arrest of Lee would have a "limited" impact on the ratings of Samsung Electronics "because this event is not likely to affect the company's ordinary operations."
S&P expected Samsung Electronics "to maintain strong operating performance in 2017 primarily owing to solid profitability in its semiconductor business."
"Notwithstanding these factors, if this issue lasts for a prolonged period, leading to material deficiency in leadership, there could be a negative impact on the company's reputation and brand image," S&P said. (Yonhap)
Kim Jung-mi firstname.lastname@example.org
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