Decoded X is a weekly newsletter created by The Investor, Korea’s first and only English-based investment-related news service.
It’s for the eyes of our premium readers only and will soon become a paid service. For now, it’s offered free of charge. Contact Monica Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Read on for highlights of this week’s edition.
WOLF! CRIED THE … ER … MAN
It could be a matter of crying wolf, with the boy being a victim of mass, societal distrust.
Hyundai Motor has now gotten itself embroiled in the latest scandal involving former President Lee Myung-bak. It’s like crying wolf, swearing up and down without basis, and has nothing to do with the case or DAS, for that matter.
DAS is an auto parts maker that Lee is said to own through his older brother -- so it’s basically all in the family.
It is also the company that lost 14 billion won (US$13 million) in BBK, a company that ironically is also said to have been owned by the former president.
So far, the prosecution has no plans to investigate Hyundai, citing lack of evidence.
It’s also saying that Hankyoreh -- probably Korea’s most left-leaning publication -- went overboard when it recently broke the story of Hyundai’s possible involvement.
The Investor has sent emails to Akin Gump, the law firm that helped DAS get its money back. We also got in touch with Mary Lee, the attorney who defended the civilian victims of the BBK case more than a decade ago.
She’s understandably wary of the press, but told us this is only because she doesn’t want anyone to get hurt.
She did add though that anyone who was involved on the wrong side of the game would get what they deserved. Please stay tuned to this story at both The Investor website and Decoded X.
THE DEAL (FAKE NEWS ALERT)
In the end, it was a deal. So we think.
Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong got released from prison, where he was cooling his heels since February 2017, although yes, the Supreme Court ruling is still pending.
The recent zeroing in on former President Lee Myung-bak made it pretty obvious there was some sort of understanding between the powers that be.
A top former Samsung executive has already testified that they footed the bill for Lee’s legal fees in return for a special pardon for the Samsung chairman.
The testimony will serve to be crucial in tightening the noose on the former president -- the man that supporters of late President Roh Moo-hyun believe to be responsible for his suicide.
And who else but President Moon Jae-in, Roh’s biggest protégé, to prove karma does indeed, exist.
All this is speculation, but there’s ample reason to believe this is what happened, especially since even the biggest critics of the system thought the Samsung heir would have to serve at least a couple of years behind bars.
WE’LL SHOW YOU THE MONEY
Bluehole Studio, the company that launched PlayerUnknown’s “BattleGrounds,” reportedly handed out a minimum 10 million won (US$9,300) to employees as incentives that’s rumored to total 8 billion won.
Bluehole is still one of the most expensive unlisted stocks in Korea, ranging at around 650,000 won. (Prices slid a bit from a peak of just under 800,000 won after investors started to make profits. An IPO is expected this year).
Of course, it helps that its former Chairman Chang Byung-gyu heads the Presidential Fourth Industrial Revolution Committee that’s in charge of all things next generation, including games.