Korean creditors to delay Hynix sale

Seoul, Korea – The sale of Hynix Semiconductor Inc. will be shelved until the end of this year, a ruling party politician said – a move analysts saw as aimed at shoring up support ahead of elections.

Park Byoung-yoon, chairman of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party’s policy committee, said the government, creditors, and the Hynix union have agreed the chipmaker’s survival should take priority over its sale to foreign investors.

“After contacts with all parties involved, we have reached an agreement on a plan to halt the sale until the end of the year,” he told Reuters.

He said creditors would not sell the ailing Hynix in haste and the company would stick to a course of strict reforms.

“If prices for 128 mega DRAM recovers above $5 to $6, the solo survival is possible,” he added.

Many politicians have turned wary of pushing through the controversial sale in the face of local elections on June 13 and a presidential poll in December, Reuters reported.

“Clearly, there seems to be a political consideration,” said Shinhan Securities Chip Analyst Lee Chang-kyung. “For the present, a sale to Micron or other foreign investors is unlikely and (the government) seems to prefer to go on Hynix’s side for more votes,” Lee said.

Jin Nyum, former finance minister and a strong advocate of the Hynix sale, who is running in local elections for the governorship of Kyonggi Province, where Hynix has its plant, has reversed course and said he now supports Hynix’s solo revival.


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