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FB Roundup: Chaebol crisis, Hancock Prospecting, and Volkswagen

Park Geun-hye impeached over chaebol corruption; Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart to buy Kidman estate; and EC is suing member states over VW diesel scandal

Park Geun-hye impeached over chaebol corruption

South Korean legislators have voted to impeach president Park Geun-hye following revelations that the country’s chaebol conglomerates handed over tens of millions of dollars in exchange for political favours. 

Park, who was nicknamed the ‘chaebol sniper’ for her anti corruption sentiment, is now at the centre of a scandal involving a mysterious friend, Choi Soon-sil, who is accused of extorting millions from the very establishments she set out to tackle.   

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, Cho Yang-ho, chairman of Hanjin Group, and Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo are all accused of donating funds to the foundation.

The impeachment bill required support from two-thirds of the 300-member parliament. Park will now be suspended from power while prime minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will assume temporary responsibilities.

Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart to buy Kidman estate

Australia's wealthiest woman Gina Rinehart and a Chinese consortium won final approval this week to buy one of the world's biggest cattle estates.

Rinehart’s involvement as the majority shareholder has allayed fears in Australia over the purchase of local infrastructure and land by foreign interests. 

The consortium will purchase Anna Creek, the world's largest working cattle station, from the Kidman estate—a family owned company founded in 1899 by Sir Sidney Kidman.

The Kidman estate said: "All Australian regulatory approvals for the sale have now been met, 99% of Kidman shareholders have accepted the offer, and the announcement means the sale can now progress to its conclusion".

62-year-old Rinehart is the richest person in Australia with an estimated fortune of A$15 billion ($!5.8 billion), according to Forbes.

EC is suing member states over VW diesel scandal

The European Commission has launched legal action against seven nations including Germany and the UK for failing to clamp down on Volkswagen after the emissions scandal.

Other countries accused of failing to impose penalties on Volkswagen, controlled by the third generation of the Piech family, include Spain, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Greece.

The VW emissions scandal led Germany to order recall of 8.5 million Volkswagen vehicles across the European Union.

Despite the scandal, Volkswagen reported 2015 first-half revenues of €109 billion ($120 billion).

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