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BlackRock emerges as LG Display blockholder

Jan. 31, 2021 - 14:31 By Son Ji-hyoung
LG Display's P-OLED product (LG Display)
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, owned over 5 percent of Seoul-based LG Display ordinary shares as of January without the purpose of shareholder engagement, a filing showed Sunday.

BlackRock Fund Advisor, a fully owned subsidiary of BlockRock, and its 13 specially related parties held a combined 17.8 million common shares in the South Korean company for 375.1 billion won ($335.7 million) as of Jan. 22. They have some 100,000 shares in the form of American depositary receipts, or stocks tradable on the US exchanges that represent shares in a non-US company.

The news of the advisory firm’s stock holding came as the display panel manufacturing arm of South Korean conglomerate LG Group has narrowed down losses by 98 percent for the full year of 2020 on the back of the fourth-quarter earnings surprise, according to its earnings call Wednesday.

Market watchers cited the soaring demand for liquid crystal display panels for TVs and organic light-emitting diode panels for electronic devices as the main engines behind the recent earnings growth. Samsung Securities analyst Chang Jung-hoon projected LG Display’s full-year operating profit to reach 1.3 trillion won in 2021 in a turnaround.

After recording a 52-week high Wednesday to 24,950 won, LG Display’s share price slid to 21,750 won on the Korea Exchange as of Friday closing.

With $8.7 trillion assets under management globally, asset manager BlackRock is a blockholder of other Korean listed companies including Doosan Fuel Cell and Samsung SDI. The US firm is subject to disclosure obligations by holding at least 5 percent of shares. Meanwhile, BlackRock last year divested shares in BNK Financial Group, LG Electronics, DB Insurance, Hotel Shilla and Helixmith and is no longer subject to blockholder obligations for the companies. 

By Son Ji-hyoung (