Intel to invest $378 mn in Sharp

US-based Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc are in talks to jointly i nvest about 30 billion yen ($378 million) in debt-stricken Japanese consumer electronics maker Sharp Corp, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Sharp may reach an agreement as early as the end of this month with Qualcomm, said one source, who asked not to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Sharp, whose displays are used in Apple Inc's iPads and iPhones, has foundered as the strong yen has increased its manufacturing costs in the face of competition from foreign rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co. Sharp was forced in September to seek a bailout from its banks.

A Sharp spokeswoman said no decisions have been made about accepting investments from other companies. News of the talks was first reported by Japanese local media.

Sharp has been in talks for months with Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, which is considering becoming the century-old Japanese firm's biggest shareholder, but has said it is looking at other alliances as well.

Earlier this month, Japan's top LCD screen maker nearly doubled its forecast full-year net loss to 450 billion yen ($5.7 billion) after booking a $1.1 billion restructuring charge in July-September.

In early morning trade, Sharp shares jumped over 10 percent, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 was little changed.

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