UPDATE 1-LG Display signs LCD supply deal with Apple

Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:50pm EST

(Adds LG Display, analyst comments, share price)

SEOUL Jan 12 (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Display (034220.KS) said it had signed a deal to supply LCD panels to Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for five years.

The world's second-biggest maker of LCD screens did not disclose the total size of the deal but said in a filing to the Korea Exchange that it would receive a $500 million advance from Apple this month.

"Although LG Display already had a relationship with Apple, the deal's duration and the size of the advance show that the two companies are involved in a long-term, strategic alliance," said Son Young-jun, a spokesman for LG Display.

Shares in LG Display were up 3.37 percent at 24,550 won at 0034 GMT, outperforming the wider market's .KS11 1.17 percent drop, but analysts were quick to discount the impact of the announcement.

"LG Display's panels already represent more than 70 percent of Apple's notebooks and monitors," said Park Sang-hyun, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities.

"The share performance may be due to the fact that the decline in panel prices is not expected to continue," Park said, referring to the steep price drops the LCD industry has experienced this year in the wake of the global slowdown and an industry oversupply.

LG trails domestic rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS)in the LCD market but ranks ahead of Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp (2409.TW) (AUO.N) and Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp 3009.TW.

(Reporting by Marie-France Han; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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