Moody's Investors Service said Friday its rating on Hynix Semiconductor Inc. will not be affected by the sale of the company's major stake, predicting it will continue to be a strong player in the global chip industry.
A week ago, South Korean shipbuilding giant STX Group and top mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. submitted preliminary bids to buy a 15-percent stake in the world's second-largest computer memory chipmaker worth at least 2.4 trillion won (US$2.3 billion).
Moody's currently holds a B1 rating on Hynix, the 14th-highest rating on its 21-tier rating scale with the outlook stable.
The rating has already factored into the creditors' plan to sell down the equity stake in the chipmaker and is supported by its improving financial position, Moody's said.
"Hynix Semiconductor will continue with its current business strategy to maintain its premium global position in the manufacturing of memory chips despite a potential change in its shareholding," the credit rating appraiser said.
Since 2008, Hynix's revenues have nearly doubled to 12 trillion won and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margins have improved to the 50-percent range, Moody's said.
The company's balance sheet has strengthened with less debt and more liquidity, it said.
"In our view, these factors better position the company to absorb changes in demand through the next down cycle," Moody's said.
Meanwhile, Hynix recorded net profit of 273.5 billion won in the first quarter this year, down 66.2 percent on-year due to weak PC demand battering chip prices.