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Samsung Elec sees a difficult year, with commercial risks, slow growth: co-CEO

Kim Ki-nam, president and co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics Co.¡s semiconductor division, speaks during the annual general meeting of a company with an office in Seoul, South Korea, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Pool

SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd expects a difficult year as a result of the global trade tensions, slowing economic growth and softer demand for memory chips from data center companies, the firm’s co-chief executive said on Wednesday.

The world’s biggest memory chipmaker reiterated his prediction of a weak 2019 as shareholders gathered for its annual general meeting in Seoul, citing a slowdown in demand for memory chips.

“We expect a lot of difficulties this year as slowing growth in the biggest economies and the risks to the global trade conflicts,” Co-Chief Executive Kim Ki-nam told the meeting.

Samsung is looking for new growth in areas such as network equipment, production and sales of its mainstay chips and smartphones begin to fall.

The company would continue bold investments in the production of semiconductors in the face of the sharpening of the Chinese competitors, Kim said.

The shareholders are expected to vote on the appointment of the directors.

Reporting by Ju-min Park; additional reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Stephen Coates

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