A credit ratings downgrade is the last thing that LG Electronics needs at a time when it is struggling to steal market share from bigger rivals Apple and Samsung Electronics in the competitive smartphone market.

Fitch Ratings downgraded LG’s long-term foreign- and local-currency debt ratings from BBB to BBB- on Monday, the lowest investment grade, citing the South Korean company’s continued weak operating margins and thin free cash flow generation, despite its improved operating profit last year. Read more

Over the past two years, LG Electronics has watched its South Korean rival Samsung Electronics storm ahead in the mobile phone sector as its own market share dwindled.

This week has brought a couple of upbeat developments that suggest the company is making some headway at the top end of the smartphone sector. But has it really turned the corner? Read more

Fines handed down on Friday by China’s anti-trust body to Korean giants Samsung and LG and four smaller Taiwanese manufacturers are a clear sign that China is getting tough on price fixing and other anti-competitive behaviour. Foreign companies can now expect the same treatment in China as they get in the US and Europe. Read more

An apparent victory for Whirlpool, the US appliance manufacturer, over South Korean rivals on Wednesday.

In a preliminary finding announced on Wednesday by the US Commerce Department, Whirlpool’s claim that its South Korean rivals were selling washers in the US for less than production costs was accepted. The company argued that Korean manufacturers have benefited from unfair government subsidies. Read more

Is LG Electronics ready to fight back in the fast-growing smartphone market? The South Korean company, a latecomer to the higher-margin end of the phone business, has struggled to defend its market share in the fast-changing market due to a lack of popular smartphone models.

But its latest smartphone called the Optimus LTE II, which was launched in its domestic market, could help the company reverse its sliding fortunes. LG has pinned high hopes on smartphones running on the high-speed LTE (long-term evolution) networks as the demand grows for higher data speeds. Read more