Hynix Leads Chipmakers Higher on Price Outlook

SK Hynix Inc., the world’s second-largest maker of computer memory chips, led Asian chipmakers higher on speculation prices of so-called NAND flash memory chips may recover.

SK Hynix rallied 7.7 percent to 22,500 won at the close on the Korea Exchange, its steepest gain since Oct. 21. Samsung Electronics Co. added 4.5 percent in Seoul trading, while Japan’s Toshiba Corp. rose 7.3 percent in Tokyo.

The gains tracked a rally in U.S. peers after OCZ Technology Group Inc., a maker of disk drives, said it experienced “a significant shortage” of certain NAND flash memory components, which are used to store data in phones, tablets and other devices. Micron Technology Inc., which forecast last month the NAND market will improve in the first half of 2013, climbed 7.8 percent yesterday and SanDisk Corp. surged 8.4 percent.

“Chip stocks are jumping, driven by the nice rally we saw yesterday for U.S. peers,” Jeff Kang, a Seoul-based analyst at Daishin Securities Co., said by phone today. “Growing shipments for pending new products such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone 5 and potential benefits from the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung are driving Hynix shares even higher.”

Apple is cutting reliance on Samsung parts for its new iPhone, the Korea Economic Daily reported, citing unidentified industry officials. A U.S. jury last month found Samsung infringed Apple’s patents and ordered the South Korean company to pay more than $1 billion.

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