Taiwan delays announcement on DRAM industry overhaul
TAIPEI Feb 25 (Reuters) - Taiwan's economics ministry said it will postpone to next week the unveiling of a plan to overhaul the crucial, but struggling, DRAM sector, as it needs more time to consider suggestions from various quarters.
A ministry representative told Reuters about the delay late on Tuesday. The market was expecting a plan aimed at giving the sector long-term viability by the end of this week.
Memory chipmakers are battling their worst-ever downturn as they face a supply glut and faltering consumer demand for electronic gadgets in the global economic downturn. Many DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chipmakers have posted losses in consecutive quarters.
Taiwan makes nearly a quarter of all of the world's DRAM memory chips, which are found in personal computers and other electronic gadgets. The chipmakers' health serves as an indication of the strength of global technology demand.
The country's three biggest DRAM makers, Powerchip (5346.TWO), Nanya Technology (2408.TW) and ProMOS 5387.TWO, are all working with the government as it considers various restructuring plans that could see them teaming up with global chip giants.
Other DRAM companies such as Japan's Elpida 6665.T and Micron MU.N of the United States have been brought into the picture, with local media reporting on Wednesday that Elpida was likely to lead any effort to consolidate the Taiwan sector.
Taiwan's electronics index .TELI was up 1.9 percent in Wednesday morning trade, mirroring stock gains in the region and on Wall Street overnight.
Germany's Qimonda QMNDQ.PK filed for bankruptcy last month, and the Taiwanese government is trying to avoid a similar outcome in any of the island's top DRAM chip makers.
Taiwan's economics minister had earlier said the government has up to T$70 billion ($2 billion) in funds to help overhaul the DRAM sector. [ID: nTP97667] (Reporting by Argin Chang, Writing by Kelvin Soh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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