The tech-heavy Nasdaq may have performed well over the past few weeks, but technology investing is no longer the preserve of the US market. South Korea is also a tech-heavy market. And there is none heavier there than Samsung Electronics, often touted as the next Sony, now also possibly the next Intel, according to this BusinessWeek report.
Samsung is hoping to get in early on more nascent technologies -- and is devoting big bucks to help make that happen. On Nov. 8, Samsung Group, Korea's largest conglomerate, or chaebol, said it would lay out $45 billion for research and development over the next five years. At Samsung Electronics alone, R&D spending this year is likely to top $5.2 billion, up from $2.3 billion in 2001. As a percentage of sales, that still lags behind Intel Corp., but it's better than such research powerhouses as IBM, Motorola, Sony, and Canon. By 2010, the chaebol expects annual earnings of $28.6 billion on sales of $257 billion, up from profits of $18.1 billion and revenues of $129 billion last year. "We want to lead the evolution to the next generation of technology," says Lee Ki Tae, president of Samsung's telecom division.