World Bulletin / News Desk
It emerged Wednesday afternoon that Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has been summoned to appear at 9.30 a.m. (0030GMT) on bribery claims -- a special probe team spokesperson admitted at a press briefing there is a possibility of seeking an arrest warrant.
Lee already appeared before prosecutors in November and then at a televised parliamentary hearing a month later on Dec. 6.
He has denied buying any favors, but allegations have persisted because of suspicions surrounding the state-run pension fund’s support for a Samsung merger in 2015.
Since taking over from state prosecutors last month, independent investigators have been building a case against Samsung for financially supporting the suspended president’s now notorious private confidante Choi Soon-sil.
Lee will be grilled about his company’s apparent 22 billion won ($18.4 million) contract with a German company under the ownership of Choi and her daughter Chung Yoo-ra -- an equestrian star who was caught hiding in Denmark on New Year’s Day after leaving her base in Germany.
With Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee still in hospital following a heart attack in 2014, his son and heir apparent will also have to deal with his own admission that the conglomerate gave Chung a horse worth 1 billion won ($837,000) as well as large donations to nonprofit foundations linked to Choi allegedly at the request of the president.
This has all done little harm to Samsung Electronics’ performance, which reached a new record-high on the local stock index Wednesday, having last week announced an expected fourth-quarter operating profit of 9.2 trillion won ($7.7 billion).
Analysts said that while the downturn in the headline readings was disappointing, the economy continued to put in a strong performance.
Crude prices stabilised after diving more than two percent on Tuesday on increasing fears of a global supply glut, as continued production in the US and elsewhere offsets an OPEC output cut deal.
Move estimated to save company $1B in investment costs
However, most other regional markets struggled after Monday's healthy gains, despite being given a positive lead from Wall Street where the Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh record highs.
The purchase in one fell swoop gives Amazon, which until now has operated almost entirely on the internet, a big presence in the brick-and-mortar world on Main Street, with more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and Britain.
"The Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate to 9.00 percent per annum," the bank said in a statement. The cut follows a half-point decrease in late April.
Equity traders have suffered a fraught week as the crisis engulfing Donald Trump picks up pace, technology firms tumbled from recent highs and energy plays were hammered by plunging oil prices.
"In May 2017, passenger car registrations across the EU increased by 7.6 percent to 1.387 million units," ACEA said in a statement.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index climbed 0.4 percent to 12,746.05 points, and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent to 5,243.53 compared with the close on Thursday.
Eastern Mediterranean gas deposits discussed at high-level meeting in Thessaloniki
While a "rebalancing of the market" was "underway," it was "at a slower pace than originally anticipated," the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries wrote in its latest monthly oil market report.