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Samsung hits record after Panasonic, Sony junked

Outlook grim for Japanese; Koreans remain number-one in world TV market

Samsung hits record after Panasonic, Sony junked
Samsung is now the world's 15th biggest company by market capitalisation.

Samsung Electronics enjoyed a record day in Seoul trading on Friday after ratings company Fitch downgraded Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp to “junk”, Bloomberg reported.

The South Korean electronics giant now has the opportunity to extend its lead at the head of the global television market after its stock rose 1.4%, its biggest trading week surge since 1 August, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg figures also show that this year has seen a total increase in Samsung shares of 36%, making the company the world’s 15th largest by market capitalisation at KRW212 trillion ($195 billion).

By contrast, Sony and Panasonic have suffered record losses of late and face a strong yen and a stuttering global economy, Fitch noted on Thursday as it gave the companies their first ever junk ratings. Both Japanese manufacturers are closing factories and downsizing workforces after two decades without products that can cmpete with consumer hits released by rivals such as Samsung, Apple Inc and LG Electronics Inc.

“Samsung will benefit from the crumbling of its Japanese rivals,” Kim Hyung Sik, a Seoul-based analyst at Taurus Investment & Securities Co, wrote in a report on Friday.

“On top of smartphone sales, Samsung is also boosting its market share with tablet computers.”

Fitch slashed Sony’s classification by three levels to BB-. Panasonic was dropped two levels to BB. Both companies were given a negative outlook and short-term ratings were reduced to B from F3.

Fitch rates Samsung A+ with a stable outlook.

Sony held 7% of the global TV market in the third quarter, down from 8.4% in Q2 according to DisplaySearch figures Panasonic dropped from 6.8% to 6.2% in the same period. Samsung held the number-one spot with 25.2%.

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