Asia

Samsung shareholders welcome stock price gains, rue scandals

  • Kwon Oh-hyun, co-vice chairman and co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics Co., speaks during the company's annual general meeting at the Seocho office building in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 24, 2017. (SeongJoon Cho/Pool Photo via AP)

    Kwon Oh-hyun, co-vice chairman and co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics Co., speaks during the company's annual general meeting at the Seocho office building in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 24, 2017. (SeongJoon Cho/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A shareholder stands behind a signage for the Samsung Electronics Co. annual general meeting at the company's Seocho office building in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 24, 2017. (SeongJoon Cho/Pool Photo via AP)

    A shareholder stands behind a signage for the Samsung Electronics Co. annual general meeting at the company's Seocho office building in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 24, 2017. (SeongJoon Cho/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Kwon Oh-hyun, co-vice chairman and co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics Co., speaks during the company's annual general meeting at the Seocho office building in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 24, 2017. (SeongJoon Cho/Pool Photo via AP)

    Kwon Oh-hyun, co-vice chairman and co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics Co., speaks during the company's annual general meeting at the Seocho office building in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 24, 2017. (SeongJoon Cho/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Shareholders of Samsung Electronics are praising the company for big gains in its share price while lamenting its involvement in a massive political scandal that brought the arrest of the company's de facto leader.

Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung's chief executive, told an annual shareholders meeting Friday that the scandal was regrettable, but that the company did nothing illegal.

Five Samsung executives, including its vice chairman and founding family heir apparent Lee Jae-yong, have been indicted on bribery and other charges linked to the scandal, which led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

Calls to reform Samsung and other big businesses are gaining momentum and some shareholders expressed concern over growing public hostility to South Korea's biggest company.