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NPS ups domestic chemical stocks exposure

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

South Korea’s National Pension Service has bagged more domestic chemical stocks over the course of three months, filings showed Thursday.

The world’s third-largest public pension fund increased its exposure to chemical stocks dedicated to second-life electric vehicle batteries -- such as LG Chem, Posco Chemical and Korea Petrochemical Ind. -- from April until Tuesday, according to respective disclosures.

LG Chem has been vying to be the world’s top passenger vehicle cell suppliers with global competitors such as Panasonic in terms of battery capacity, while Posco Chemical has ramped up production of key battery components such as anode and cathode. Korea Petrochemical has been dedicated to EV battery’s high density polyethylene.

NPS was holding LG Chem’s 10.72 percent, Posco Chemical’s 6.12 percent and Korea Petrochemical’s 9.83 percent according to its disclosures in July. The stock holding of LG Chem and Korea Petrochemical rose around 1 percentage point each, while Posco Chemical’s disclosure was made for the first time.

Other chemical stocks with NPS’ higher exposure from April-July period include fine chemical firm Lotte Fine Chemical and plastic makers Hyosung Chemical and Kumho Petro Chemical.

They were part of 123 companies that NPS has increased its stake ownership in while controlling at least 5 percent stake over the cited period, according to public data compiled by market tracker FnGuide.

Under Korean rules, a shareholder with at least 5 percent of ownership is subject to the nation’s disclosure regulations.

Of the companies where NPS heightened stock holding, 12 stocks belonged to the chemical sector, followed by semiconductor parts makers (10) and pharmaceutical sector (8).

NPS controls 5 percent stake or more in 299 companies. Their combined market value came to 124.35 trillion won ($104.15 billion).

Major portfolio firms include stock market bellwether Samsung Electronics, holding 11.10 percent, and chipmaker giant SK hynix, with 11.60 percent.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus-hit companies such as air carriers Korean Air and Jeju Air, as well as multiplex cinema chain operator CJ CGV, were no more subject to from NPS’s disclosure requirement as NPS’ ownership in them fell below 5 percent during the cited period. They were part of such 24 domestic stocks.

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