Tuesday, 12 December 2006

KOSPI falls 1 percent as LCD makers face price-fixing probe

As if falling panel prices are not enough, Korea's LCD makers are now facing a probe on price-fixing. Bloomberg reports:

Samsung Electronics Co. and LG.Philips LCD Co., the world's largest makers of liquid-crystal displays, are being probed by regulators in the U.S., South Korea and Japan for alleged price fixing in the $69 billion industry.

LG.Philips shares fell to a record after the Seoul-based company said late yesterday it's being questioned because of "possible anticompetitive conduct in the LCD industry." Samsung and Japan's Sharp Corp. said today they're under investigation...

Shares of LG.Philips fell 4.3 percent to close at 25,850 won in Seoul. Taiwan's AU Optronics Corp., the world's third-biggest LCD maker, declined 1.8 percent to the lowest in almost six months, Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. dropped 5.8 percent and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. slid 3.3 percent. Suwon, South Korea- based Samsung fell 0.7 percent, approaching a five-month low.

The KOSPI fell 1.0 percent to close at 1,376.98 today and is now down year-to-date. The Taiwan Weighted Index fell 2.0 percent to 153.56 today but remains in positive territory year-to-date.

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