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Iriver Surges Before Google Book-Reader Deal, Tumbles After

July 12 (Bloomberg) -- Iriver Ltd. surged the most in six months in Seoul trading hours before the company said it will offer the world’s first reader customized for Google Inc.’s electronic-book service. The shares erased those gains today.

The stock jumped 15 percent to 3,450 won yesterday, when the number of shares traded rose to 1.85 million, or six times the three-month daily average. The South Korean MP3 maker then tumbled 15 percent, the most since trading began in December 2003, to 2,935 won at the 3 p.m. close in Seoul trading.

Iriver released a statement seven hours after yesterday’s market close in Seoul saying the company’s Story HD will be the first e-reader fully integrated with Google’s eBooks service and that Target Corp. will be its exclusive retailer in the U.S.

The company doesn’t “officially have much to say about the reason” for the surge, J.K. Jeong, a spokeswoman for Seoul-based iriver, said in a text message. “There have been a number of media reports lately about how we are trying to diversify our products beyond MP3 players to smartphones and tablets, and we think the stock has been responding to those expectations.”

Morgan O’Murray, a spokeswoman for Minneapolis-based Target, didn’t immediately reply to a voice-mail message on her office telephone. Jennie Johnson, a Google spokeswoman in Tokyo, declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lee in Hong Kong at wlee37@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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