Giant Korean corporation Samsung has announced the closure of its London, New York and Singapore offices. No details of the number of jobs lost are available, although some employees may be transferred to South Korea. The incessant financial crisis in the far East and the International Monetary Fund reconstruction of the South Korean economy is blamed for forcing the company to retrench; it cancelled a £450 million investment in Teeside last month, and in November it closed a £13 million factory in North Yorkshire after only two years in operation.
Production outside Korea is being cut by 40% as part of Samsung's plan to reduce borrowing.The latest closures mean that American, European and South East Asian operations will be controlled from Korea: this should have no effect on those who currently own Samsung equipment.
The announcement casts a shadow over the 60th anniversary of Samsung's foundation on March 1st, 1938. Set up as a fruit, vegetable and dried seafood export company, it has grown to cover engineering, chemical and information technology with some 200,000 employees worldwide.