TOKYO (Reuters) - Cash-strapped smartphone screen maker Japan Display Inc <6740.T> dismissed a report on Thursday that it was seeking investment from Apple Inc <AAPL.O> and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] as "speculative" and declined to comment further.

Japanese news agency Kyodo, which reported on Wednesday that Japan Display was discussing an investment of more than 200 billion yen ($1.76 billion) from three Chinese panel makers including BOE Technology Group Co Ltd <000725.SZ>, said it was also seeking investment from its two clients.

Japan Display and domestic rival Sharp Corp <6753.T> once boasted cutting-edge screen technologies. But they have struggled in recent years to compete with more nimble Asian rivals, and as customers including Apple shifted to newer organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens.

The display maker has been losing money for the past three years. It has said it wants to start mass-producing OLED screens to better compete with South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS>, and that it needs capital to do so. It has so far declined to disclose details of any negotiations.


State-backed fund Innovation Network Corp of Japan owns 36 percent of Japan Display, which was formed in 2002 by combining the ailing display units of Sony Corp <6758.T>, Hitachi Ltd <6501.T> and Toshiba Corp <6502.T>.

(Reporting by Yoshiyasu Shida)