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Nanya Tech Leads Memory Chipmakers Higher on Prices

Nanya Technology Corp. led memory-chip makers higher after the benchmark spot price for dynamic random access memory chips surged the most since July.

Nanya jumped 6.1 percent to NT$18.30 as of 12:29 p.m. in Taipei. Japan’s Elpida Memory Inc., the world’s third-largest maker of computer memory chips, rose 2.5 percent to 1,220 yen. Samsung Electronics Co., the largest manufacturer, gained 1.1 percent to 1.005 million won in Seoul as it reported a 13 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit.

The spot price for DRAM prices rose 7.6 percent yesterday, the biggest increase since July 24, according to data compiled by TrendForce Corp.’s DramExchange. Prices climbed to the highest level since Dec. 22 yesterday.

“Investors are buying after DRAM prices gained yesterday,” said Eric Chou, who helps manage around $1.8 billion at Jih Sun Securities Investment Trust Co. in Taipei. "They are hoping prices can continue this upward trend after the Lunar New Year holidays.’’

Taiwan’s stock market is shut on Jan. 31-Feb. 7 for the start of the lunar new year. South Korea is closed Feb. 2-5.

The Nikkei newspaper reported on Jan. 18 that Elpida plans to raise DRAM prices by 10 percent as early as this month. Chip prices rallied in 2009 after Elpida president Yukio Sakamoto said in April that year he planned to raise prices by as much as 50 percent. The contract price of 1 gigabit DDR2 chips, the benchmark at the time, surged as much as 184 percent after Sakamoto’s comments, according to Dramexchange data.

Taiwan’s Powerchip Technology Corp. gained 4.4 percent to NT$6.83 today, while Inotera Memories Inc. advanced 2.2 percent to NT$18.70. Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the world’s second-largest maker of computer-memory chips, increased 4.8 percent to 29,350 won in Seoul.

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