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Good news for DRAM could be short-lived

Apr 01,2008
The price of DRAM chips might end its fall. At least, that was the feeling of local stock market investors yesterday.
Hynix, the world’s No. 2 computer memory chip maker, surged 5.9 percent, closing at 27,850 won ($28.1), on Korea’s benchmark Kospi. Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest memory chip maker, also gained 1.6 percent, to 623,000 won.
The boon for chip makers came following the news that Elpida, Japan’s largest computer memory maker, will hike its DRAM prices 20 percent this month.
Over the past months, chip makers across the world have slashed DRAM chip prices in a cutthroat competition. For instance, the price of 512 megabyte DRAM slid from $6 early last year to 90 cents as of yesterday. No wonder most chip makers, except for Samsung Electronics, posted losses in the fourth quarter of last year.
Could the news from Elpida spell the end of such costly competition? Analysts are pessimistic.
“DRAM is still in oversupply, so it is not easy for companies to raise DRAM prices,” said Kim Ji-soo, an analyst at Goodmorning Shinhan Securities.


By Kim Seon-ha JoongAng Ilbo [joe@joongang.co.kr]



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