Tag Archives: South Korea

Samsung: Plan Galaxy Phone Using Wraparound Display

According to Bloomberg,

A Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy advertisement (Bloomberg)

A Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy advertisement (Bloomberg)

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) plans to release a Galaxy smartphone next year with a display that wraps around the edges so users can read messages or monitor stocks while looking from an angle, according to two people familiar with the plans.

The phone will use an upgraded version of Samsung’s technology called Youm, currently featured in the curved Galaxy Round handset, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans haven’t been released. The three-sided display may be used in the S or Note series of premium handsets or may be the first in a new line, the people said. Samsung plans to have each side of the display operate independently.

The world’s largest maker of handsets is fighting with Apple Inc. (AAPL) to introduce innovative devices as they brace for a slowdown in the high-end smartphone segment, where Samsung sells about one of every three devices. Apple is developing new iPhone designs including bigger screens with curved glass and enhanced sensors that can detect different levels of pressure, a person familiar with the plans said Nov. 10.

“Samsung is the dominant player,” Lee Do Hoon, an analyst at CIMB Group Holdings Bhd in Seoul, said by phone today. “That gives it a competitive advantage over Apple in the race to make phones with bendable displays.”

Smartphone Saturation

Samsung doesn’t have a specific release date for the new device, the people said, with one person saying the handset is more likely to come out during the second half of next year. The Youm technology was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Chenny Kim, a spokeswoman for Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, declined to comment.

The company is diversifying its product portfolio by expanding its use of flexible displays, unveiling the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and registering a design patent for eyeglasses that can answer phone calls while the user exercises.

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Kyobo Life Bids for Fifth-Largest Insurer, ING Life South Korea

South Korea's third largest insurer, Kyobo Life Insurance, has made a bid for the country's fifth largest insurer, ING Life South Korea. (Picture from Associated Press)

South Korea’s third largest insurer, Kyobo Life Insurance, has made a bid for the country’s fifth largest insurer, ING Life South Korea. (Picture from Associated Press)

Joyce Lee from Reuters reports that Kyobo Life Insurance, South Korea’s third-largest insurer, said on Friday it had made a bid for a controlling stake in ING’s South Korean insurance unit, breathing new life into a delayed deal previously valued at roughly $2 billion.

Kyobo, whose investors include Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Singapore sovereign fund GIC GIC.UL and private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners, is set to compete against the country’s second-largest insurer Hanwha Life Insurance Co Ltd, which is expected to submit its own bid, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

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Global Policymakers Discuss Debt Crisis, Market Turmoil

As reported by Reuters, global policymakers held an emergency conference call on Sunday to discuss the twin debt crises in Europe and the United States that are causing market turmoil and stoking fears of the rich world sliding back into recession.

Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank

Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank (source: Reuters)

After a week that saw $2.5 trillion wiped off global stock markets, political leaders are under mounting pressure to reassure investors that Western governments have both the will and ability to reduce their huge and growing public debt loads.

South Korea said finance deputies from the Group of 20 major economies discussed the European debt crisis and U.S. sovereign rating downgrade on Sunday morning in Asian time zones.

A Japanese government source said finance leaders from the Group of Seven big developed economies would also discuss the crisis and may issue a statement afterwards, although the timing of such a call was unclear.

The European Central Bank was scheduled to hold a rare Sunday afternoon conference call. Investors are anxiously looking for the central bank to start buying Italian and Spanish debt on Monday to stabilize prices, a move that has split the ECB governing council.

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Asia, Europe to ‘Stick It Out’ With Treasuries

China's Finance Minister Xie Xuren

China's Finance Minister Xie Xuren (source: Bloomberg)

As reported by Bloomberg’s Christopher Anstey and Shamim Adam, Asian states are likely to retain their U.S. Treasury holdings for now and European governments expressed confidence in the world’s largest economy after Standard & Poor’s cut the U.S.’s sovereign credit rating to AA+.

Russia said the one-step cut “can be ignored” and France joined the U.S. in questioning S&P’s reasoning. South Korea affirmed its “faith” in Treasuries after an emergency meeting of officials today in Gwacheon, south of Seoul. China’s official Xinhua news service said in a commentary that the U.S. must cure its “addiction” to borrowing.

For all the angst, policy makers across Asia are lured to Treasuries as a result of efforts to stem gains in their currencies against the dollar, which would impair export competitiveness.

“They won’t be happy about it, but Asian central banks will just have to hold on and stick it out,” said Sean Callow, a senior currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. (WBC) in Sydney. “There is pressure on them to hold on to liquid assets and there is nothing more liquid than the Treasury market. At least Treasuries have been doing well and they aren’t holding on to distressed assets.”

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Data buoys Asian stocks as oil hovers above $100

(Reuters’ Ron Popeski) – Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, led by shares of resource companies, as strong U.S. factory data and surging commodities prices offset fears that unrest in Egypt could spread to other parts of the Middle East.

Brent crude oil futures steadied after topping $100 a barrel overnight for the first time since 2008, adding to concerns of a global fuel price spike even as policymakers in many emerging economies struggle to contain soaring food prices.

Data released in China showed manufacturers input prices were rising quickly, keeping pressure on the government to tackle inflation, while figures from South Korea showed consumer inflation in January spiked more than expected at the upper end of the central bank’s target.

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