Shares in Foxconn arm leap 35 per cent on iPhone speculation

SHARES in the world’s biggest manufacturer of mobile phones, Foxconn International Holdings (FIH), rose as much as 35 per cent yesterday on speculation that it would win a contract to make Apple’s iPhone 5 from its affiliate Hon Hai.

FIH and Hon Hai are both listed units of Foxconn Technology Group, the Taiwanese industrial giant that makes many of the world’s most popular consumer electronics devices. Hon Hai is currently the main supplier of the iPhone, but has struggled to keep up with demand for the latest version, the iPhone 5.

Citigroup yesterday said it expects FIH to begin assembling iPhones before the end of the year, having already begun to produce the metal casing for the device.

Citigroup upgraded FIH stock to a “buy”, the first positive rating in years, leading to mass-buying of shares. FIH has seen shares fall in recent months as the companies it makes phones for, such as Nokia, have stumbled.

FIH’s shares had been sliced in half since April, and the company posted its worst-ever first-half loss in August.