Five major Japanese semiconductor makers are expected to reduce their combined capital investment by around 20 percent in fiscal 2001 due to uncertainty over demand for information technology products, industry sources said Friday.

The five companies — NEC Corp., Toshiba Corp., Hitachi Ltd., Fujitsu Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. — are planning combined capital outlays of around 800 billion yen for fiscal 2001, down from the previous year’s record spending of 961 billion yen.

The reduction comes as sales of personal computers have been stagnant in the U.S. since late last year and booming sales of mobile phones are losing momentum, especially in Europe.

In addition, a capacity increase as a result of aggressive investment in fiscal 2000 will start to take effect this summer, and a worldwide glut of commodity dynamic random access memory chips is expected.

Despite the expected spending drop, the combined figure and reflects an anticipated steep rise in domestic sales of digital consumer electronics.

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