Sony considers financial services spinoff and listing, shares surge By

© Reuters.– Japanese conglomerate Sony Corp (TYO:) said on Thursday that it is considering a potential spinoff and listing of its financial services unit within the next two to three years. 

The announcement saw Sony’s Japanese shares surge over 6% in late-morning trade. 

Sony (NYSE:) said it will assess the spinoff and listing of Sony Financial Group, its wholly-owned unit, with the intent of facilitating “sustainable growth” in the business. The unit is likely to be listed in Japan, Sony said in an announcement. 

Sony Financial Group was founded in 2004 and offers services such as insurance, banking and venture capital investments. 

The Japanese media to technology conglomerate said that it will hold a stake of slightly less than 20% in the spinoff, and that it will consider distributing the remaining shares in the unit to shareholders as a dividend. 

The move comes as Sony doubles down on its core entertainment business that produces movies, music and videogames, as well as its image sensor business. The firm is one of the world’s biggest videogame makers, and is also a key supplier of image sensors for smartphones. 

Sony logged a record-high annual revenue for 2022, while profit also beat expectations on strong sales from its chip division, as well as higher-than-forecast sales of its flagship PlayStation 5 console. The console has sold nearly 40 million units since its troubled launch in 2020, and has vastly outpaced Microsoft Corp ‘s (NASDAQ:) Xbox Series X.

Sony’s gaming business is expected to be the conglomerate’s key breadwinner this year, with the company pinning its hopes on the second generation of its PlayStation VR virtual reality gaming headset.

The company is facing a potential downturn in its image sensor division, especially amid waning demand among Chinese smartphone makers. A broader slowdown in chip demand across the globe is also expected to dent margins in the business. 

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