Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee is recovering from surgery and could soon be moved from intensive care to a general ward, the group said Sunday.
The announcement came on the eighth day of treatment of a heart attack. At the moment Lee is on an artificial respirator.
A Samsung spokesman denied rumors that Lee is dying and said all test results show he is making a "smooth and stable recovery."
Asked when he will come out of intensive care, the spokesman said, "We can't tell when exactly. But we understand it won't be long."
Lee remains in an induced coma, so it is unclear whether he has suffered lasting brain damage. Doctors will try to help him regain independent cardiopulmonary functions first and wake him up later.
Lee suffered a heart attack on May 10 and later received emergency heart surgery at Samsung Medical Center, where doctors put an expanded stent in a narrowed coronary artery.