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Hyundai, Kia shares fall on possible Samsung-Fiat partnership

[THE INVESTOR] Shares of Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors on Aug. 4 started lower than the previous day after news reports that Samsung Electronics could purchase some or all stake in Mgneti Marelli, the parts maker of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Hyundai closed at 130,500 won (US$117) per share, down 1.14 percent from the day before.  Its smaller affiliate Kia plunged to a record low of 40,650 won in 52 weeks earlier in the day but the price recovered to 40,800 won, a 0.49 percent decline. 


Hyundai Motor Group headquarters in Yangjae-dong, southern Seoul
Hyundai Motor Group headquarters in Yangjae-dong, southern Seoul


Industry watchers say the possible partnership between Samsung and Fiat is one of the factors driving their shares, coupled with their sluggish domestic sales in recent months.

According to news reports on Aug. 3, Samsung is interested in Magneti Marelli’s lighting, in-entertainment and telematics technologies. The deal could be worth more than US$3 billion, the biggest-ever acquisition for Samsung outside its home turf. 


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On the day, Samsung's parts affiliates such as Samsung SDI and Samsung Electro-Mechanics saw a moderate growth in their prices. Samsung Electronics closed flat at 1.517 million won.

“Following its launch of an automotive parts business division in December last year, Samsung recently announced its strategic partnership with China’s BYD. The Korean tech giant’s big automotive push is affecting Hyundai Motor Group and its parts suppliers negatively,” said Koh Tae-bong, analyst at HI Investment and Securities.

Competition is heating up even among Korean firms to take the early edge in the soaring futuristic car market, including the hottest self-driving vehicles. Hyundai has recently teamed up with LG Electronics, Naver and KT to commercialize self-driving cars by 2020.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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