Samsung to use its $56bn cash pile to fund growth, including M&A
Samsung to use its $56bn cash pile to fund growth, including M&AReuters

Samsung Electronics aims to strengthen shareholder outreach and has proposed to use its $56bn cash pile to fund growth, including through mergers and acquisitions (M&As), the South Korean firm's investor relations chief has said.

Robert Yi, Samsung's head of investor relations, declined to comment specifically on plans for share buybacks or dividends. The firm's investors were cheered by a 40% dividend boost in 2014 and by its first share buyback since 2007.

However, Yi hinted that shareholders should not expect the same in 2015 as the technology giant maintains its focus on growth.

Yi also said that Samsung planned to make top management more available to institutional investors and that the firm would host more public events.

Yi told Reuters on Tuesday, 17 February: "Dividends and other forms of shareholder returns are responsibilities that the company has for shareholders, so we will make efforts to meet them. But our primary objective is growth and that is what we are communicating to our shareholders."

Yi added: "We are primarily focused on M&A deals for companies that would be good fits to Samsung's current businesses, and we believe that know-how and experience accrued from such transactions will make bigger M&A deals possible going forward."

Shares in Samsung, which dropped to multi-year lows in October, have gained some 3.7% so far this year in Seoul trade.

By comparison, the benchmark Kospi share average has added some 2.4%.

Samsung Electronics' cash pile stood at 61.8tn won (£36.47bn, €49.34bn, $56.03bn) at the end of 2014.

While Samsung has struck 10 deals in two years, those purchases have been small, prompting calls from some shareholders for bigger deals to revive growth momentum.