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Samsung Electronics shares worth USD1.1B sold in block deal

SEOUL (CNA) – Shares in Samsung Electronics worth about USD1.1 billion were sold by Kookmin Bank yesterday, according to a term sheet seen by the media.

About 19.9 million shares were on sale at KRW68,800 per share, the term sheet showed.

Samsung Electronics’ share price was down one per cent at KRW69,800 in early trade, versus a 0.9 per cent fall in the wider market. Samsung Electronics did not have a comment on the sale.

The shares on sale matched the amount that Hong Ra-hee, mother of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y Lee and wife of deceased Samsung patriarch Lee Kun-hee, agreed to keep in trust with Kookmin Bank in October, according to a Samsung Electronics filing.

The trust agreement period was due to end by April 25, the filing showed.

Since patriarch Lee died in 2020, Samsung’s owner-family decided to use shares in affiliated companies to pay part of more than USD10 billion in inheritance tax, people with direct knowledge of the matter previously told the media.

The tax code allows payment in instalments, with one-sixth of the total to be paid first, and the remainder over five years with an annual interest rate. Even in instalments, analysts expect over KRW2 trillion (USD1.64 billion) to be due annually.

Analysts said they expected yesterday’s share sale.

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen outside the Samsung Electronics Seocho building in Seoul. PHOTO: AP