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No chip market recovery yet – UMC

It's all a bit of a mess says chairman

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United Microelectronics Corp. chairman John Hsuan believes it's still too early to say whether the chip market is on the verge of recovery.

"Right now it's not very clear. There are ups and downs and different signals every day," he said yesterday.

Indeed, the Taiwanese chip maker is sticking to its line, first spoken in February, that the downturn is no quick dip in sales but a longer-term depression.

"The information [customers] gave us led us to originally believe [the downturn] would not last long," Hsuan said, according to Reuters, speaking of the company's original outlook for 2001. "A series of changes in the market made us feel it was not a matter of a single segment but across the board."

UMC has seen no reason to change its mind, he added, promising a report on the matter at the end of April: "We will begin compiling information and make a full report to everyone at the end of the month."

Hsuan's view is mirrored by fellow Taiwanese chip company VIA, which warned its second, current quarter would see sales on a par with the same period last year. ®

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