Tech companies lure investors to Malaysia

Inari Technology Sdn Bhd -PLANT 3 AT Phase 4 FIZ Bayan Lepas.

PETALING JAYA: Record high worldwide semiconductor sales, fuelled by demand for smartphones and tablet devices, have fanned investors’ love for component suppliers like Inari Amerton Bhd and Globetronics Bhd.

“The semiconductor industry has been enjoying its bull run since 2013,” MIDF Research said.

Shares in Inari, a maker of components that goes into Apple Inc’s iPhone, had surged 105% year-to-date, at RM3.29 yesterday. Apple is expected to lauch iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 over the next two months. “In the foreseeable term, smartphones remain one of the main catalysts to drive the sector,” said MIDF Research.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) yesterday announced that the worldwide semiconductors sales hit a new record high of US$27.57bil (RM87.85bil) for June.

SIA, which sourced the statistics from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organisation, reported global sales rose 10.8% year-on-year from US$24.9bil (RM79.34bil) in June last year.

For the first half of 2014, the sales accelerated by 10.5% to US$159.2bil (RM507.29bil).

“Year-to-date sales during the first half of 2014 were 11.1% higher than they were at the same point in 2013, which was a record year for semiconductor revenues,” SIA said.

This buoyant outlook has also encouraged investors to snap up shares in companies like Unisem (M) Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd (MPIB) and Globetronics.

Year-to-date, share of Unisem, MPIB and Globetronics have risen by 73%, 97.5% and 47% respectively.

“We expect the semiconductor sector to continue its growth momentum in the second half of the year on the back of recovery in the global economy,” CIMB Research analyst Mohd Shanaz Noor Azam told StarBiz.

He said among the catalysts for the industry would be the increasing demand in mid-to-low end smartphones and tablets segment, especially from China and India.

“However, for the long-term growth, the industry is still looking for a catalyst beyond smartphones and tablets,” he said. On the economic front, Malaysia has also benefited on its exports of electric and electrical (E&E) products, which make up about 32.7% of total exports.

In May, Malaysia exports climbed for the 11th month in May, registering a 16.3% hike from a year earlier due to increase in E&E products, petroleum products, crude petroleum and palm oil and palm oil-based exports.

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