Sony considering partial spinoff and stock listing of financial unit

Sony Group says it is considering carrying out a partial spinoff and share listing of its financial service arm in the next two to three years, to better focus on its entertainment and computer chip businesses.

It announced the plan for Sony Financial Group, whose subsidiaries include Sony Bank and Sony Life Insurance, at its corporate strategy meeting on Thursday.

Sony says it is looking at retaining a stake of slightly less than 20 percent so that the newly listed company will be able to use the Sony brand.

Sony says the financial services business requires robust financial health, and that a spinoff would enable the arm to gain the ability to raise cash independently for sustainable growth.

Sony says it will "need an unprecedented amount of investment" in its main entertainment and semiconductor businesses.

The company suggests it will put more effort into the sectors of advanced camera parts for smartphones and sensor components for vehicles.

Sony also said it expects to manufacture its game console PlayStation5 at full capacity in the current financial year. Shipments of the popular gaming devices have been delayed due to a shortage of semiconductors.

Sony Group President Totoki Hiroki noted that many of its rivals are extremely large global companies. He said as Sony grows bigger, it has to raise the level of investment accordingly.