Intel shuts two plants in Penang

(AP) Intel Corp said yesterday it is consolidating its manufacturing operations as a part of a restructuring bid that will affect thousands of jobs from the US to the Philippines.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 employees will be affected, though some may be offered posts at other facilities, the company said.

The world's largest chipmaker is closing two assembly test facilities in Penang, Malaysia and one in Cavite, Philippines and will halt production at a plant in Hillsboro, Oregon. It will also end wafer production at a facility in Santa Clara, California. All five are older factories, the company said.

Intel currently employs about 84,000 workers. The company expects to complete the job cuts by the end of the year.

Last week, Intel posted a whopping 90 per cent decline in its fourth-quarter profit, hurt by declining demand for its microprocessors — the brains of PCs — amid the economic downturn.

The results, however, matched Wall Street's expectations as the company had twice lowered its sales forecast.

Shares of the company climbed 17 cents to US$13.43 in after-hours trading, having closed the regular session up 40 cents at US$13.26. — MI