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Oberthur Buys Asian Smart Card Vendor


France-based Oberthur Card Systems announced it is buying Singapore-based smart card vendor I'M Technologies for S$34 million (17 million euros) in cash, hoping to lower its cost base and increase revenue in Asia.

I'M ships mainly low-end SIM cards to mobile network operators in China and Southeast Asia, contracting with four production plants to embed its software modules, three of them in China. The fabless operation will help Oberthur save money while serving the Asian SIM market, known for its extra low prices and intense competition. Oberthur, like other European vendors, is in the midst of a cost-cutting program to deal with sharply falling prices for SIM cards worldwide.

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