Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Whatever it is DNEX wins

 I woke up this morning listening to the news that the world is in short supply of chips as there are just not enough supply to meet demand. At the same time, the largest chip maker, TSMC has cornered 70% of the MCU market - not by design but due to their technological dominance where the rest of the competitors could not catch up - except for probably Samsung.

We have heard of there could be a delay in shipments of motor vehicles as when cars are fitted with more semiconductors when the demand has way outstripped supplies. Anyway, as in my previous article, I was critical of Malaysian companies like DNEX and Green Packet given the leading position to purchase the only fab owned by Malaysia - Silterra. They do not have the capabilities of running a fab.

I also woke up in a headline that says, Silterra is sold to DNEX - retaining the ownership in Malaysians hand. Well, it is  a pride thing. In that deal, DNEX and CGP of Beijing on a 60%:40% basis has bid for Silterra which is now owned by Khazanah.

DNEX does not know how to run Silterra, but the management of Silterra knows how to run the old 130nm fab as they have been doing it for years. Now China is really in need of chips and fabs especially given the Trade War situation as it is on the rush for owning and acquiring technologies such as a fab technology.

It is old but still needed especially that China will just take anything as long as it is still running and producing well. It may well be investing into a more current process technology and I believe given the technology maturity, the Silterra's team will know how to run it and make it working.

In the long run, on paper it is still owned by Malaysian company and it is just like the Proton Geely relationship where we for patriotism sake, we have 60% of ownership without ability to control the demand and supply while the other will control in terms of management and technology. Perhaps in this way, the Chinese would prefer the arrangement as they have a strong say.

Anyway, it is positive for DNEX - don't look at the financial fundamentals as DNEX will not have the capability to buy Ping Petroleum, invest in Silterra, expand it further as I believe behind the scene there were already planning, I believe. Otherwise Khazanah would not have sold it and let the fab grappling with liquidity issues. It would have been a political suicide. 

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