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NPS unloads NCSoft shares to buy Naver stocks

The National Pension Service headquarters in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province (Herald DB)
The National Pension Service headquarters in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province (Herald DB)


South Korea’s public pension fund National Pension Service unloaded its 0.6 percent stake in domestic game company NCSoft to acquire a 0.28 percent stake of nation’s top portal operator Naver, government data showed Thursday.

According to regulatory filings, NPS sold off 54,438 shares of NCSoft on Tuesday and bought 452,938 shares of Naver on the same day.

As a result, NPS’s stake in NCSoft fell to 11.82 percent from 11.22 percent while its stake in Naver rose to 12.84 percent from 12.56 percent.

The sell-off came at a time when the game maker’s presence in the stock market has been pronounced lately. It has newly joined the list of the top 10 companies in terms of market value, beating the nation’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor, although the car maker managed to recover its 10th place the next day.

The company’s strong performance has been propelled by its flagship mobile games Lineage M and Lineage 2M, as coronavirus outbreak boosted demand for the games and brought in a new influx of users confined inside their homes, according to industry sources.

NCSoft’s stock price, which stood at 541,000 won ($452.50) as of Jan. 2, spiked to 945,000 won on Wednesday, a 74.6 percent increase, catapulting its market valuation from 11.8 trillion won to 20.7 trillion won.

Naver is another beneficiary from the pandemic with its digital and non-face-to-face business. After breaching 200,000-won mark in May, its stock price has continued an upward streak, standing at 279,500 as of Wednesday.

By Kim Byung-wook (kbw@heraldcorp.com)
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