Shares of Yooshin Engineering, which specializes in railway design and construction, soared 29.92 percent from the previous trading in the morning, hitting a 52-week high. It was being traded at 25,400 won ($22.67) per share on the country’s tech-heavy Kosdaq bourse as of midday.
|A South Korean train used for the joint inspection of inter-Korean railways last year enters Dorasan Station on Dec. 18. (Yonhap)|
Among several engineering companies that participated in the joint inspection of cross-border railways by the two Koreas, reports said on Monday, Yooshin was a strong candidate to take part in the actual reconnection work. The 18-day inspection wrapped up in December after government officials and railway experts test-operated a train from the border as far as the Tumen River on North Korea’s northeastern tip.
Yooshin was the only listed company in that group, reports said.
Yooshin has a history of participating in past inter-Korean projects, having clinched a deal with the Kim Dae-jung administration (1998-2003) to restore the Munsan-Jangdan section on the Southern side of the Gyeongui Line, the railway running along the western part of the Korean Peninsula.
Investors’ interest in South Korean companies with exposure to economic projects in North Korea has increased since the aggregate value of shares in Ananti, currently the only South Korean resort operator in the North, reached nearly 2.3 trillion won. The resort developer appointed Jim Rogers as an outside director last month.
Despite growing optimism amid dramatic progress in inter-Korean economic cooperation in recent months and anticipation of a second US-North Korea summit, sanctions continue to stand in the way of such projects.
By Jung Min-kyung (firstname.lastname@example.org)