Shares of Japanese electronics maker Hitachi Ltd jumped nearly 5 percent on Thursday after sources indicated the firm may sell its hard-disk making division.

The company began manufacturing disks after buying the hard-disk division of IBM in 2002 for $2billion.

According to sources cited by Reuters, financial services giant Merrill Lynch has named a number of private equity funds considering taking over the loss-making business.

Shares in Hitachi, Japan's largest electronics conglomerate, traded at 733 yen by 0014 GMT, outperforming a 1.2 percent gain for the benchmark Nikkei average