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Business Insight

Why Samsung Electronics is courting its shareholders

Top chaebol family moves to preempt new president's legislative agenda

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Children look at a mobile phone in front of an advertisement of Samsung Electronics at its store in Seoul.   © Reuters

Moves by Samsung Electronics to court minority shareholders ahead of expected legislative proposals by new liberal President Moon Jae-in could have a profound impact on South Korean corporate culture.

Rather than convert to a holding company structure as encouraged by existing legislation, Samsung has stepped up dividend payouts and share buybacks and canceled treasury shares, stock traditionally held in reserve by chaebol groups as a defensive tool against activist shareholders.

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