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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 15:10 GMT
Samsung to give $825m to charity
Samsung is a major producer of electronics
South Korea's largest firm, Samsung, is to donate more than $825m (473m) to charity after scandals hit the company.

The company chairman, Lee Kun-Hee, who recently returned to South Korea after a five-month overseas trip, apologised for "wrongful" previous practices.

He left the country in September after allegations of illegal donations to politicians, of which he was cleared.

In 2005 a Seoul court gave suspended jail sentences to two Samsung executives, in a different scandal.

'Expectations of people'

That case came after accusations that Mr Lee's children had been allowed to take over a Samsung business in a dubious manner.

Samsung said in a statement it regretted causing concern over issues such as the transfer of wealth within the family of chairman Lee Kun-Hee and the political "pay-off" furore.

"I have put all my energy into corporate management so far, but failed to pay enough attention to meeting expectations of the people," Mr Lee was quoted as saying in a statement.

Amusement park

Samsung said the donations will consist of a scholarship fund worth 450 billion won ($466m) and 350 billion won ($362m) in personal assets from Mr Lee's children.

It consists of profits his children made through the transfer of convertible bonds of unlisted Samsung Everland, an amusement park operator.

A Seoul court in October 2005 found two top executives at Everland guilty of conspiring in a deal to help the children buy at below-market prices a majority stake in the amusement park operator. Samsung has since appealed.

Samsung is a major global manufacturer of memory chips, semiconductors and consumer electronics.

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