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Report: Samsung Plans Record $41.6 Billion Investment Budget For 2012

Samsung is reportedly planning to invest a record-high $41.6 billion this year to fuel research and development and facilities growth.

Samsung is planning a record-high investment budget of $41.6 billion in 2012 to fund operations and fuel its growth, according to a report Monday from The Wall Street Journal. The Korean-based chipmaker and mobile device giant also plans to expand its workforce by approximately 26,000 employees this year, the report said.

The planned investment budget of $41.6 billion is up a hefty 12 percent from Samsung’s investment of approximately $36 billion in 2011, the Journal reported. While the company has not disclosed the specific amounts to be invested in each of its individual business units, Samsung hopes its newly expanded budget will serve as a platform for exploring "new growth areas" in the global market.

"Samsung has decided to make the biggest-ever investment of 47.8 trillion won ($41.6 billion) this year in order to solidify its dominance in key businesses in the global market and to dominate new growth areas in advance," the company said in a statement, according to the Journal.

By category, Samsung said its facilities investment will total 31 trillion won (approximately $27 billion) this year, up 11 percent from 2011, while investment in research and development will jump 13 percent to 13.6 trillion won (approximately $11 billion). The rest, according to the report, will go toward other investment tools, such as stake purchases.

In addition to a more robust investment budget and an expanded workforce, the Journal reported that Samsung’s U.S. unit has sent proposals to banks seeking a $1 billion bond to fund chip production in 2012 – a move that would represent the company’s first overseas bond issue since 1997.

A separate report from Bloomberg suggests that Samsung will be using the $1 billion bond to expand chip production at its Austin, Texas plant, where it makes chips for Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Apple and Samsung have been raging a legal battle for months based on infringement claims, and have sought bans on each other’s smartphone and tablet devices in marketplaces across the globe. Bloomberg’s report, however, suggests that the business partnership between the two remains in tact (at least for now).

Samsung declined to comment on whether the $1 billion would, in fact, be used to fund its Austin, Texas plant. The company also declined to comment further on its overall investment strategy for 2012.

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