Samsung shares hit record on spin-off news
South Korean giant Samsung Electronics said it is considering spinning off its loss-making liquid crystal display (LCD) business, sending its shares to a record high.
Samsung, the world’s largest maker of flat panels, memory chips and flat-screen televisions, made the announcement in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. It said no final decision has been taken.
Details were not given, but Samsung shares rose 5.1 percent to a historic high of 1,135,000 won ($1,012) as the potential spin-off is expected to strengthen its profitability.
Samsung’s LCD business suffered losses in every quarter last year due to a supply glut.
The possible spin-off sparked speculation that Samsung may merge its LCD unit with Samsung Mobile Display, which produces organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays for mobile devices such as smartphones.
Samsung Mobile Display, a 50-50 percent joint venture between Samsung Electronics and its affiliateSamsung SDI, controls more than 95 percent of the global OLED market.
“If Samsung Mobile Display’s mainstay business is combined with the LCD business, synergy in the display panel business is likely to increase,” Koo Ja-Woo of Kyobo Securities told Yonhap news agency.
Analysts said such a spin-off would help Samsung invest further in profitable businesses such as smartphones, non-memory chips and next-generation panels.