Tue, Jul 19, 2011 - Page 11 News List

SMIC shares fall in Hong Kong after CEO Wang quits


Shares in Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC, 中芯), China’s biggest chipmaker, fell the most in almost two months in Hong Kong trading after David Wang (王寧國) resigned as chief executive.

The chipmaker, which resumed trading yesterday after being suspended on June 30, fell 9.5 percent to close at HK$0.57, the biggest decline since May 20. The stock is up 1.8 percent this year compared with a 5.3 percent drop in Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Wang quit SMIC last week after failing to win reappointment as company director at a shareholders’ meeting last month. The former Applied Materials Inc executive, who joined SMIC in 2009, clashed with investors, including China’s state-owned Datang Telecom Technology & Industry Holdings Co (大唐電信) over strategy, analyst Michael Clendenin said.

“David is a very forceful guy and I can’t see him backing down if he thinks he has a strategy that would work,” said Clendenin, managing director at research company RedTech Advisors in Shanghai.

Zhang Wenyi (張文義), a former Chinese government minister, was appointed acting CEO at SMIC, the company said on Friday.

Wang helped SMIC return to profitability last year, after the chipmaker posted five straight annual losses under founder Richard Chang (張汝京).

SMIC said it will “continue to seek a candidate” for the CEO role. Zhang was also appointed chairman at SMIC effective on Friday.

Chairman Jiang Shangzhou (江上舟) died on June 27, SMIC said on June 29, without disclosing the cause of death.

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