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SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. fell in market cap rankings in the global IT industry, dogged by dull fourth-quarter earnings estimate and the weakening Japanese yen, data from the Korea Exchange showed Monday.
The market cap for the world's No. 1 maker of smartphones was 187.3 trillion won (US$176.6 billion) as of Friday, down 16.7 percent from 224.9 trillion won posted end-March 2013, according to the data.
The ranking is two below where the company was in March last year when it had nudged out Microsoft Corp. and IBM, on the back of robust sales of its smartphones and other devices.
Investors have been offloading Samsung Electronics' shares after the tech giant last week posted its 2013 fourth-quarter operating profit estimate at 8.3 trillion won, 6.11 percent down from a year earlier. Although the adjustment was partially attributed to one-off factors like the massive bonuses paid out to the employees, investors were swayed by the static demand for high-end smartphones.
The weak Japanese yen against the local currency also cast cloud over its performance down the road, as a relatively stronger Korean won makes locally produced goods lose price competitiveness in the global market.
Apple Inc., meanwhile, topped the list with a market cap of $479.5 billion, trailed by Google Inc. with $377.6 billion, the data showed.
Microsoft and IBM recouped their third and fourth places, respectively, with a market cap of $300.9 billion and $203.3 billion.
Other South Korean exporters also lost ground in terms of market cap, with Hyundai Motor Group coming in at sixth among carmakers with $65.6 billion as of Friday, down four notches from 2012. The group holds Hyundai Motor Co., and Kia Motors Corp. under its wing.
Top steelmaker POSCO, which posted the largest market capitalization among global rivals in 2011, moved two notches down to third place, also dogged by the weak yen.
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