Semiconductor players to benefit from potential FDI


Chip worker shws a 300mm silicon wafer at a German semiconductor plant

PETALING JAYA: The underwhelming quarterly earnings by major United States semiconductor companies over the last week paint a gloomy picture, but Kenanga Research remains optimistic about the outlook for local semiconductor players.

The research house believes local tech players will continue to thrive on foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows over the past two years.

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This, as well as from a potential wave of trade diversion following the passing of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (Chips) and Science Act in the United States, will help.

The act provides US$52.7bil (RM234.83bil) in subsidies to support semiconductor production and research in the United States.

Kenanga Research added Penang’s unique semiconductor ecosystem will continue to benefit the local players, given Malaysia’s neutral stance in the tech battle between the United States and China.

“Dubbed the Silicon Valley of Malaysia, Penang has been the go-to location for many multinational corporations that are looking to expand their capacity,” the research house said.

It noted that RM14.1bil and RM76.2bil FDIs flowed into Penang in 2020 and 2021, respectively, while, in the first quarter of this year, it recorded inflows of RM6.3bil.

Kenanga Research remains “overweight” on the tech sector and said PIE Industrial Bhd and Inari Amertron Bhd were its top sector picks.

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