Samsung to spin off LCD unit
Samsung Electronics said yesterday its board has agreed to spin off its loss-making LCD business. Samsung, the world’s largest maker of flat panels, memory chips and flat-screen televisions, said its LCD unit would be launched as a separate entity on April 1 with capital of 750 billion won (US$668 million). The LCD business suffered losses in every quarter last year due to a supply glut and cutthroat competition, but Samsung said in a statement the spinoff would help it streamline decisionmaking and manage resources more efficiently. Analysts have said the move would help Samsung invest further in profitable businesses, such as smartphones, non-memory chips and next-generation panels.
Doosan wins Indian deal
South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction said yesterday it won a 1.5 trillion won deal to build industrial boilers for India’s state-run energy firm. Under the agreement with India’s National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC), Doosan will build five boilers for two NTPC power plants in Karnataka and Chhattisgarh, Doosan said. The boilers will be delivered by the end of 2016, it said in a statement, adding the firm since 2004 had won deals to build power plants in the Indian cities of Mundra, Sipat and Raipur. India plans to increase its power capacity by 25 gigawatts each year until 2020 at an estimated annual cost of US$25 billion.
Wal-Mart takes 51% share
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer, became a majority shareholder in Yihaodian (一號店) by raising its stake in the Chinese online supermarket to tap rising consumer wealth and help the company offer more products. Wal-Mart agreed to increase its holding in the closely held Shanghai-based company to about 51 percent, it said in an e-mailed statement yesterday without disclosing terms. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company bought an unspecified minority stake in Yihaodian last year. The online supermarket would use the funds to help expand its offerings and open more warehouses and delivery stations after more than tripling sales last year, Yihaodian president Yu Gang (于剛) said.
Bluescope posts net loss
Bluescope Steel Ltd, Australia’s largest steel producer, reported a A$530 million (US$570 million) first-half net loss. The result posted yesterday for the six months through December last year is nearly 10 times larger than the A$55 million loss for the same period a year earlier. BlueScope Steel managing director Paul O’Malley said the company is on track to deliver a full-year working capital release of A$400 million to A$500 million and has initiatives for further debt reduction.
Wynn forces back shares
Wynn Resorts said it forcibly bought back shares from its biggest stakeholder after finding the Japanese tycoon made improper payments to gambling regulators. The Las Vegas company said it took action against Kazuo Okada after a yearlong investigation uncovered that he engaged in activities that violated US anti-corruption laws. Wynn has asked Okada to resign from the board. The company said discoveries include cash payments and gifts totaling about US$110,000 to foreign gaming regulators. Okada is the founder of casino gamemaker Universal Entertainment. He held an almost 20 percent stake in Wynn Resorts Ltd.