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SK Group Stocks Fall After Report Prosecutors Search Offices

SK Group affiliates fell in Seoul trading after Yonhap News reported prosecutors searched the offices of some group companies to investigate allegations the founding family misappropriated funds.

The action by prosecutors contributed to a decision by the group’s mobile phone affiliate, SK Telecom Co., to reconsider a plan to bid for a 20 percent stake in Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the Electronic Times reported separately, citing an SK Telecom official it didn’t identify.

SK Telecom is still considering making an offer for Hynix ahead of the Nov. 10 deadline for bids, Irene Kim, a Seoul-based spokeswoman for the phone company, said in response to the Electronic Times report.

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae Won hasn’t used any company money inappropriately and will prove his innocence, the group said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News.

Officials at the Seoul District Prosecutors’ Office declined to speak on the record about the case.

SK Holdings, the de facto holding company for the group, fell 0.7 percent t0 145,000 won at the close in Seoul while SK Telecom declined 0.7 percent to 151,500 won. SK Gas Co. dropped 2.5 percent to 71,200 won.

Prosecutors searched offices of SK Holdings and SK Gas to collect financial accounts and transaction records, Yonhap reported.

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