Samsung denies it plans new plant in northern Vietnam

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

HANOI (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 005930.KS said on Friday that it has no plans to build a factory in Vietnam's northern province of Hoa Binh, after a provincial official said the South Korean group had been looking to lease land.

Samsung, Vietnam’s largest single foreign investor, already has eight factories and a research and development center in the country.

“Samsung Vietnam denies the rumor that it has considered building a new factory in Hoa Binh,” Samsung Electronics’ Vietnamese subsidiary Samsung Vietnam said in an emailed statement.

The statement came after a senior official of the province, who did not wish to be identified, told Reuters that Samsung was looking to lease an area of 500-1,000 hectares in Hoa Binh province to build a factory to produce electronics products.

Samsung Vietnam, in its statement, said there had been no discussions with the local government in Hoa Binh on the lease of land.

The plans were also announced on the official website of the province but then removed after Samsung’s denial statement. The official had no further comment.

Samsung has invested more than $17.3 billion in Vietnam and accounts for around one-fifth of the country’s total exports.

Vietnam’s exports of smartphones and electronic components, mostly produced by Samsung Electronics, rose 5.6% in the first eight months of 2019 from a year earlier to $33.39 billion, according to government data.

Reporting by Khanh Vu and Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Susan Fenton