• Kyodo News


Elpida Memory Inc. President Yukio Sakamoto said Monday the embattled chip maker is working hard to obtain approval for a new government aid program as soon as possible as it seeks to bolster its financial standing.

“We are making all-out efforts to obtain approval,” a company spokesman quoted Sakamoto as saying at an annual general shareholders’ meeting in Tokyo.

Sakamoto did not provide further details on how much the company is seeking, but sources have said the government will probably give its first approval for the corporate rescue program to Elpida this week.

Elpida, which logged a group net loss of nearly ¥180 billion in the business year that ended in March, is expected to receive investment and loans from the government-backed Development Bank of Japan and other financial institutions, including megabanks.

The program allows nonfinancial companies to receive capital investment from the DBJ on condition the government covers 50 percent to 80 percent of possible losses on their failure.

Elpida, the world’s third-largest maker of dynamic random access memory chips mainly used for mobile phones and personal computers, is seeking access to de facto public funds to ride out a severe industry downturn caused by the erosion of chip prices and stagnant demand.

Sakamoto sought to allay shareholder concerns about whether the company can maintain its global edge, saying Elpida will partner with Taiwanese firms to compete against rival South Korean chip makers, according to the spokesman.

The annual general shareholders’ meeting, which lasted about 80 minutes, was attended by nearly 230 stockholders and was closed to the media.

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