Samsung has said earnings may be down. Photo: Reuters

Reform of South Korea’s powerful family-owned conglomerates, or chaebol, has become a focal point of next month’s presidential election, and both frontrunners have proposed changes.

Reuters reports that investors are taking note of the coming reforms, which gained widespread public support in the wake of the corruption scandal that toppled President Park Geun-hye.

“If Korea can get the same kind of political support behind these initiatives, we could see a wave of corporate activity that can unlock tremendous amounts of value buried in inefficient structures or lazy balance sheets…,” said Steve Deitch, a portfolio manager at the Duet Group.

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