January 17, 2012 -- Samsung Group, which includes Samsung Electronics Co, is raising its 2012 investment to a record $41.4 billion (47.8 trillion won), the company said in a statement (in Korean). Miyoung Kim, Reuters, says that this record amount underscores "the widening gulf between the dominant South Korean conglomerate and its faltering competitors." The money will be divided up for facilities, R&D, strategic acquisitions, and staffing.
Samsung Group did not provide a breakdown of the 47.8 trillion won investment for Reuters. Kim expects that Samsung is spending on its logic chips and organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, hoping to see success like that of its flash chips, computer memory chips and LCD flat-screens. Turner Investments recently noted that Samsung's position as one of the top 3 media tablet makers will put it in a strong position, next to Apple and Amazon.com, in this emerging growth market. Also read: 7 semiconductor and display suppliers to benefit from tablet wars
Samsung's capital spending will rise 11% year-over-year to 31 trillion won. 80% of the capex will come from Samsung Electronics and its display unit. Reuters' Kim expects a 7.5 trillion won investment in system chips (mobile processors and sensors) to exceed spending on memory chips for the first time, and by about 1 trillion won. OLED investment could hit 7 trillion won. Lesser amounts will go to LCDs, rechargeable batteries and LEDs, Reuters reports. Worldwide, Korea is the only region expected to show growth in semiconductor fab equipment spending in 2012, mainly due to expected spending by Samsung, says SEMI. Also read: Semiconductor fab capex forecast for 2012
Samsung also said that it will add a record 26,000 employees this year, despite "worldwide economic difficulties and uncertainties." Samsung now employs around 350,000 workers. Samsung's Q4 2011 earnings are estimated (prelim.) at about 47 trillion won, with a record 5.2 trillion won profit.
The Wall Street Journal and other outlets quoted Samsung Electronics as planning a $1billion bond sale from its US unit, the first bond sale in many years.
Samsung Group comprises around 80 companies. Its business portfolios expand from financial, construction and shipbuilding to medical services and consumer electronics and total revenues account for some 20% of South Korea's 1,200 trillion won GDP.
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