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Samsung plans $1 billion debt sale to fund U.S. chip plant

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co <005930.KS> said on Monday its U.S. operation plans to sell around $1 billion in bonds, its first major overseas debt sale in more than a decade, to fund its chip plant operations.

Samsung, which supplies semiconductors to Apple's iPhone and iPad tablet, is considering selling the 5-year bond to secure operational funds for its chip operations in Austin, Texas, and has sent requests for proposals to banks to manage the deal, a Samsung spokesman said.

The South Korean firm had around 22 trillion won ($19.2 billion) in cash as of end-September and mainly uses its internal cash to fund investments.

The company plans to increase investment this year mainly to boost production of mobile chips and next-generation OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display panels. It has yet to announce detailed investment plans for 2012.

($1 = 1148.2000 Korean won)

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)