Elpida plunges 98% after bankruptcy protection filing

DRAM memory chip Demand for dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM, chips has been slowing

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Shares of Elpida have plunged on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) as investors dumped the stock after the firm filed for bankruptcy protection.

The company's shares fell as much as 98% to 5 yen. The TSE has said that it will delist Elpida from 28 March.

The firm sought protection on Monday saying it had struggled to repay debts of 448bn yen ($5.6bn; £3.5bn).

Meanwhile, the Japanese government has not given any hint on whether it may bail out the firm.

"Given their huge debts and the subsequent delisting, the share value will go to zero - that is pretty clear," Gerhard Fasol of EuroTechnology Japan told the BBC.

'Critical issue'

Start Quote

They [Elpida] have tried to find a partner but they couldn't find any”

End Quote Gerhard Fasol EuroTechnology

Elpida, which specialises in making dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips, has seen its fortunes dwindle recently.

Not only has the company been hurt by a slowing demand for these chips, falling prices have also hurt its profits.

Analysts said that given its debts, the firm would have to find a deep-pocketed partner to help revive its business.

"They need to have a partner for the revival. The critical issue is who will that partner," said Mr Fasol of EuroTechnology Japan.

However, Mr Fasol said Elpida may find it difficult to convince other companies to invest money in its business.

"They have tried to find a partner but they couldn't find any. That is why they have had to file for protection the first place."

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