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Samsung chair regains consciousness

Wakes for the baseball

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Samsung chair Lee Kun-hee has emerged from his coma, a fortnight after he suffered a heart attack.

According to The Korea Herald, he awoke while family members were watching a baseball game while visiting, and were “making noise” when Samsung Lions hitter Lee Seung-yeop hit a home run.

Lee has been under treatment at the Samsung Medical Centre in southern Seoul, where he had initially been treated in intensive care before being shifted to a ward. An operation to widen blood vessels – a stent – has been performed, and the hospital says the prognosis for his cognitive functions is “hopeful”.

The Korea Herald adds that Lee had earlier received 60 hours of treatment “to prevent toxic material from forming in blood vessels”.

The 72-year-old chair of the powerhouse was hospitalised on May 11, but his limited day-to-day involvement in Samsung's management limited the impact on the company's share price.

Instead, in a separate report, The Korea Herald reports that the company's share price has risen on expectations that it will expedite “managerial succession to Lee's children”.

The chief beneficiary of that process would reportedly be Lee Jay-yong, his only son, who would find himself in charge of an industrial giant which according to the Yonhap news agency represents 25 per cent of South Korea's GDP. ®

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