* Sale advertisement due around Dec. 20
* Letters of intent to be received by end-Jan.
* KEB dismisses block sale of Hynix stake
(Adds details from statement, Hynix CEO forecast)
SEOUL, Nov 25 Major shareholders of Hynix Semiconductor Inc (000660.KS) will put a controlling stake in the chipmaker up for sale in an auction next month, valued at close to $3 billion.
The sale will take place after the sole bidder for the world's No. 2 memory chipmaker, Hyosung (004800.KS), pulled out of the process earlier this month
A committee of nine creditors-turned-shareholders, including Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank, have unanimously agreed to restart the sale in a public auction, Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) 004940.KS, Hynix's largest shareholder, said on Wednesday.
"It is not the time to discuss a block sale," KEB said in a statement.
The comments may dampen speculation that a 28 percent stake in Hynix on offer would inevitably be sold in block trade in the absence of strategic bidders. [ID:nSEO330885]
The lead shareholders will advertise the sale to domestic companies around Dec. 20 and receive letters of intent by the end of January, according to KEB's statement.
Separately, Hynix CEO Kim Jong-kap forecast at an industry event the chipmaker would report stronger earnings in the current quarter from the third, and chip prices would fare better in the first quarter of 2010 than previous years. [ID:nSEO355130]
Last month, Hynix, which trails sector leader Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS), reported its first net profit in eight quarters and predicted a brighter outlook as strong demand and rising prices boost the chip sector's recovery.
Shinhan is a unit of Shinhan Financial Group (055550.KS) and Woori belongs to Woori Finance Holdings 053000.KS. ($1=1155.8 Won)
(Reporting by Kim Yeon-hee; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)
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