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Japan's SUMCO to raise US$1.1 billion from new shares to expand silicon wafer output

TOKYO : Japan's SUMCO Corp said on Thursday it would sell 128 billion yen (US$1.14 billion) of new shares to fund an increase in silicon wafer production amid growing demand from chip makers struggling to keep up with global demand.

The additional capacity will come on line by 2023 and allow SUMCO to fulfil its contracts over the next five years, the company said.

"We are sold out until 2026," the company's CEO, Mayuki Hashimoto, said at a news briefing.

SUMCO is also considering adding production in Taiwan, which has the world's biggest concentration of chip foundries, he added.

Shortages of semiconductors have forced some manufacturers, including the world's major automakers, to curtail production plans as increased demand for smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices use up more chips.

New technologies, such as artificial intelligence, 5G connectivity and autonomous drive vehicles, are expected to further spur demand for semiconductors.

(US$1 = 112 yen)

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Kim Coghill)

Source: Reuters

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