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Notebook makers not worried about fire at major PCB supplier

2012/04/20 21:25:32

Taipei, April 20 (CNA) Local notebook computer ODM service providers said Friday they did not expect their supply chains to be seriously disrupted by the sudden suspension of operations at printed circuit board (PCB) maker Gold Circuit Electronics Ltd.'s plant in China's Jiangsu Province.

Gold Circuit, the world's second largest supplier of PCBs for notebook computer use, was forced to temporarily shut the plant down after it was hit by a fire Thursday. The company estimated the shutdown could cost it 15 percent of its sales.

Quanta Computer Inc., the world's largest contract notebook computer maker, said Gold Circuit is just one of four to five PCB suppliers it relies on, and because HannStar Corp. of Taiwan is its major PCB supplier, it did not anticipate supply chain disruptions from Gold circuit's problems.

HannStar currently has a 43.5 percent share of the global notebook computer PCB market, ahead of Gold Circuit's 20 percent.

Gold Circuit said it expects production at its Changshu plant to be suspended for several months but hopes to make up for the shortage with the help of production lines in Taiwan and another plant in Jiangsu Province, in Suzhou.

Wistron Corp., another Taiwan-based notebook computer ODM service provider, said the company shifted its orders from Gold Circuit to other PCB makers soon after it was informed of the incident.

Wistron also relies on four to five PCB suppliers at any one time, and its diversification strategy has helped minimize the risks from Gold Circuit's plant shutdown. The company said it expected to ship its products in the second quarter according to schedule.

Both Quanta and Wistron did not rule out, however, the possibility of PCB price hikes because of the disruption to Gold Circuit's production line and said they would keep a close eye on the matter.

Several major notebook computer stocks on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed higher Friday despite the Gold Circuit fire.

Shares of Quanta closed 0.13 percent higher at NT$76.80 (US$2.60), shares of Compal Electronics were up 0.76 percent at NT$33.05, and Wistron shares ended down 0.95 percent at NT$41.80.

Shares of Gold Circuit fell 7 percent, the maximum daily decline, to close at NT$6.53 after the fire.

The weighted index closed down 1.51 percent amid lingering concerns over a proposed capital gains tax on stock investments.

(By Han Ting-ting and Frances Huang)