Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (000660) jumped to an eight-month high in Seoul trading after Hyundai Securities Co. said contract prices for dynamic random access memory chips increased and as financing delays at Japan’s Elpida Memory Inc. (6665) raised the prospect of less competition.
Hynix, the world’s second-largest maker of computer-memory chips, gained 5.3 percent to 29,000 won as of the close on the Korea Exchange, the highest level since May 31. Larger rival Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) advanced 5.1 percent, while the benchmark Kospi index rose 1.1 percent.
Elpida, facing an April deadline to repay debts, said it sees “uncertainty” over remaining in business because it still doesn’t have the necessary financing. DRAM contract prices for the first half of February increased, and are likely to maintain a “stable” trend, Hyundai Securities said in a report today.
“Investors appear to be betting that the possible failure of Elpida will mean less competition in the industry, reducing the number of players and production capacity,” said Im Jeong Jae, a Seoul-based fund manager at Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management Co., which oversees about $28 billion.
DRAM prices plunged to a record low last year after personal computer shipments missed analyst forecasts and as sales of Apple’s iPad surged. Samsung controlled 45 percent of the DRAM market by value in the third quarter, according to Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc.’s iSuppli. Hynix held a 22 percent share, followed by Elpida’s 12 percent.
Separately, the Electronics Times reported Samsung Electronics may spin off its liquid crystal display business, citing unidentified industry officials. While Samsung is reviewing the separation of its LCD business, nothing has been decided, the company said in a regulatory filing today.
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