By Se Young Lee
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said on Thursday it will invest 3.16 trillion won ($2.7 billion) in its home country and China to boost memory chip production capacity, seeking to capitalize on growing mobile and data storage demand.
The world's No. 2 memory chip maker behind domestic rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said it plans to invest 2.2 trillion won to build a new NAND flash chip production fab in South Korea and 950 billion won to boost DRAM chip production capacity at its existing facilities at Wuxi, China.
Memory chip prices have rebounded sharply in recent quarters as smartphone makers boost processing and storage power in their devices. Rapid growth for high-end data storage products such as solid state drives for mobile devices, computers and servers have also bolstered demand, helping SK Hynix post better-than-expected third-quarter profit.
SK Hynix seeks to play catch-up in the NAND market to rival Samsung Electronics, which has been dominating the high-end market in recent quarters as it managed to extend a technological lead over competitors with product such as 3D NAND chips that allow for faster data processing.
Researcher TrendForce says NAND chip prices will rise further in 2017 as overall industry capacity growth remains constrained.
(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)