By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – Bain Capital-backed chipmaker Kioxia on Friday reported a narrower third-quarter operating loss of 65 billion yen ($434.70 million) sequentially, saying selling prices for its memory chips have begun rising as customer inventories normalise.

The loss compared with a 100.8 billion yen loss three months earlier, with Kioxia adding it expects improvement in demand for smartphones and PCs.

Japan’s industry ministry said this week it would extend subsidies worth as much as $1.64 billion for Kioxia and Western Digital to expand chip production in Mie and Iwate prefectures.

Kioxia was formerly the memory business of Toshiba and was spun off from that conglomerate. In December, Toshiba was taken private by a group of investors led by private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).

($1 = 149.5300 yen)

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)

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