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SK widens gap with Hyundai as No. 2 in market cap

SK Group, South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate in market capitalization on the main bourse, managed to widen its lead over Hyundai Motor Group, which it overtook on April 7, data showed Monday.

As of Friday’s closing, firms listed on the top-tier market under SK Group had 120 trillion won ($107.5 billion) in market cap, accounting for 6.62 percent of the market, according to data from the sole market operator Korea Exchange.

Hyundai Motor Group, which the second most valuable company in Korea as of the end of 2016, had 102.8 trillion won in market cap as of Friday, taking up 5.67 percent.

The gap between SK Group and Hyundai Group -- 17.2 trillion won -- has nearly doubled from 9.8 trillion won in a July 6 estimate. 

(Herald DB)
(Herald DB)
In April, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index started to rally, and has since surged to over 2,450 points.

The drive was mainly attributed to the group’s chipmaker arm SK hynix’s upbeat performance in the stock market. Shares of SK hynix rose 59.28 percent this year, or 19.3 trillion won of market cap. Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Group affiliates’ downbeat performances, Hyundai Motor’s June decision to carry out recalls, as well as ongoing external trade woes from the United States and China, have cast a shadow on the group’s earnings forecast.

The nation’s top conglomerate Samsung Group saw its market cap rise to 516.6 trillion won, up 30.8 percent or 121.8 trillion won from the end of 2016, ranking first.

LG Group and Lotte Group were the fourth and the fifth largest, with 91.8 trillion won and 30.3 trillion won in market cap, respectively.

The market cap of the nation’s top 10 family-owned business groups took up 51.66 percent of the Kospi market value. This excluded steelmaker Posco, telecommunications firm KT and the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, as the data only included conglomerates whose chiefs and family members hold more than 30 percent of each group’s stocks, excluding preferred stocks.

The Kospi market has been enjoying its heyday, with local equity experts viewing that listed firms have more room for revaluation, on the back of buoyancy in global technology firms and waning uncertainties at home and abroad.

Eight out of the 10 business groups saw gains in market cap, with two of them -- Hyundai Motor Group and Doosan Group -- taking losses in market cap worth 600 billion won and 652 billion won, respectively, from 2016.

Riding the unprecedented rallies, Korea’s top-tier stock market on Friday saw a 20.1 percent surge in market cap, or 303 trillion won, from the end of 2016.

The Kospi on Monday extended its record rally for eight straight trading days, closing at an all-time high of 2,451.53, up 0.06 percent from the previous high at 2,450.06.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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