March madness: Shareholder meetings galore
According to the Korea Securities Depository, 339 companies listed on the local securities market, 321 companies on the tech-heavy Kosdaq and two from the startup-oriented Konex explained their business conditions, appointed directors and sought approval on key issues like remuneration for directors.
Under Korean law, listed firms must submit financial statements to regulators and hold a shareholder meeting within three months of the end of the fiscal year. That means March is filled with annual meetings, particularly on the second and third Fridays of the month.
On March 14, 116 companies held their meetings.
Among the more significant results from yesterday, three major conglomerates reshuffled directors due to legal troubles with their top leaders.
At SK Group, Chairman Chey Tae-won and Vice Chairman Chey Jae-won, who were recently sentenced to prison for embezzlement, stepped down from their directorships at SK Group affiliates, including SK Innovation, SK Hynix, SK C&C and SK Networks.
However, Chey Tae-won will maintain his chairmanship of SK Group.
CJ Group’s head Lee Jay-hyun, who was sentenced to prison for embezzlement, tax evasion and breach of trust, also stepped down from the directorship at three affiliates: CJ E&M, CJ O Shopping and CJ CGV.
However, Lee maintained the directorship at CJ, CJ CheilJedang and CJ Korea Express.
Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn also resigned as a director of Hanwha Group and its affiliates.
While at Hyosung Group, controversy is expected as it reappointed Chairman Cho Suk-rae, who has been accused of tax evasion, and his eldest son and the president of Hyosung Group Cho Hyun-joon as internal directors, while adding Cho’s third son and vice president Cho Hyun-sang as a director.
Civic groups had opposed appointing the chairman’s family as directors and members of the audit committee.
Hyosung reduced the number of directors by one while increasing the remuneration ceiling to 10 billion won ($9.2 million) from 7 billion won.
SK Hynix approved a bill adding one more director and expanded the remuneration ceiling to 12 billion won from 5 billion won.
The nation’s No. 2 mobile carrier KT held a shareholders meeting at its KT Research and Development Center in Seocho, southern Seoul, electing seven new directors and reducing the remuneration ceiling to 5.9 billion won from 6.5 billion won because of difficulties at the company.
LG Corporation reappointed LG President Cho Jun-ho and approved the directors’ remuneration at 11.5 billion won, the same as last year.
Meanwhile, recruiting outside directors from the ranks of the politically powerful continued, as high-ranking officials from the Blue House and the National Tax Service, as well as major legal professionals, were elected outside directors en masse at these large conglomerates.
Lotte Shopping appointed Park Dong-yeol, president of Ho Ram Tax Accounting Corporation, as a director. He had previously served as the head of the Daejeon Regional National Tax Service.
It also reappointed Kim Tae-hyun, an attorney at Yulchon LLC, who had served as a president of the Legal Research and Training Institute and the head of various departments at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office.
LG Corporation appointed Yoon Dae-hee, professor of economics at Gachon University, who served as the Blue House’s secretary for economic affairs, as an outside director and a member of the audit committee.
BY kim jung-yoon [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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