The billionaire head of South Korea’s Samsung Group, Jay Y. Lee, was jailed for five years for bribery on Friday after a six-month trial over a scandal that brought down the president.
Lee had paid bribes in anticipation of favors from then president Park Geun-hye, according to a landmark ruling by a Seoul court, which also found him guilty of hiding assets abroad, embezzlement and perjury.
Lee, the 49-year-old heir to one of the world’s biggest corporate empires, has been held since February on charges that he bribed Park to help secure control of a conglomerate that owns Samsung Electronics (KS:005930), the world’s leading smartphone and chip maker, and has interests ranging from drugs and home appliances to insurance and hotels.
Lee denied wrongdoing.
One of his lawyers, Song Wu-cheol, said Lee would appeal the lower court ruling.
By Joyce Lee and Yuna Park
Markets looked ahead Friday to a speech from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium in Wyoming to see if the U.S. central bank chief will offer further clues as to the outlook for the removal of accommodative policy and, while little new information is expected, the speech may not turn out to be as “boring” as intended.
The 2017 symposium will focus on “Fostering a Dynamic Global Economy” and Yellen is scheduled to give a speech on “Financial Stability” at 10:00AM ET (14:00GMT).
With higher hopes for excitement placed on a later appearance of European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, Danske Bank rules out anything “dramatic” with regard to Yellen’s speech.
“We look for a repeat of signals that the announcement on balance sheet reduction will come relatively soon (likely September) and that one more rate hike is still the base case this year,” these experts explained.
The dollar was little changed against the other major currencies on Friday, as investors remained cautious ahead of speeches by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi at Jackson Hole.
Market participants were looking ahead to to see if the U.S. central bank chief will offer any clues on future policy moves, although little new information was expected.
More hopes surrounded Draghi’s speech and potential indications on when the ECB plans to begin tapering its monthly purchase program.
The greenback was hit this week by fresh U.S. political tensions, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would be willing to shut down the government to finance a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and that he might terminate the NAFTA trade treaty.
Investors were also looking ahead to U.S. reports on durable goods orders, due later in the day.
The European Central Bank’s 2.3 trillion euros worth of asset buys propped up growth but failed to boost inflation and may have actually increased risks to financial stability, research published by the Bundesbank on Friday showed.
The conclusions of the paper support the long held views of the German central bank that bond purchases, commonly known as quantitative easing, were unnecessary and should be phased out without delay, ending the ECB’s biggest foray yet into unconventional monetary policy.
“We find that ECB balance sheet policies, in the form of direct asset purchases, bring down financial stress for some periods after the shock,” the paper concluded. “This positive effect is reversed thereafter as stress increases above its pre-shock level.”
“At the same time, asset purchase shocks have an expansionary effect on economic activity, while the effect on prices remains insignificant,” said the authors, whose view does not necessarily represent the views of the Bundesbank.