Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) revealed on Tuesday that it is in relatively advanced negotiations to sell a stake to a strategic investor, the Wall Street Journal reported. The news sent the company’s Hong Kong-listed shares up 16% to HK$0.53 (US$0.07), although analysts warned that a deal is far from certain. SMIC has held – ultimately fruitless – talks with private equity investors in the past. The company, China’s largest semiconductor foundry by capacity, depended on the US market for 45% of its sales in the final quarter of 2007 and posted a net loss of US$21.2 million. It is thought that a strategic partner or investor might help SMIC deal with the impact of a US downturn as well as increased competition in the computer chip market.