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Samsung Group to invest W50tr in 2014

South Korea’s No. 1 conglomerate Samsung Group said Tuesday it plans to invest around 50 trillion won ($47.2 billion) this year, continuing their investment expansion amid the prolonged economic slump.

Lee Sang-hoon, president of Samsung Electronics Co., replied, “Around that much,” when asked by reporters if the annual investment figure would be about 50 trillion won. Lee was coming out of a breakfast meeting that commerce minister hosted for the country’s top 30 conglomerates.

“Considering Samsung,s market presence, the (employment) plan for 2014 is also expected to be similar to last year, despite the economic challenges,” Lee added. Samsung Group is estimated to have hired some 26,000 new employees last year.

The group had been steadily increasing its annual investment in facilities and research and development, allocating some 49 trillion won last year compared with the 45 trillion won tallied in 2012.

Sources said Samsung Group aims to expand investment in the biotechnology sector this year, with its top electronics arm and Samsung Everland Inc., the de facto holding company of the conglomerate, each spending 84.7 billion won to buy new shares to be issued by Samsung Biologics Co. next month.

Samsung Biologics was established in April 2011 as part of Samsung’s plan to seek a new growth engine by diversifying its businesses outside its mainstay consumer electronics and mobile devices.

Samsung Display Co. and Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. are also planning to expand their production facilities at home and abroad, the sources added, reflecting the group,s aggressive investments in its mainstay businesses as well.

Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, told reporters at a New Year’s ceremony earlier this month that the group will increase its investment this year as it did last year. (Yonhap News)