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NCSoft benefits most from listing transfer to Kospi

NCSoft’s headquarters located in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province (NCSoft)
NCSoft’s headquarters located in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province (NCSoft)
Forty-five companies, which first went public via South Korea’s tech-heavy Kosdaq market, saw at least a threefold surge in market valuation after they transferred to the nation’s main bourse market since 2000, data showed Monday.

Of the 45 companies transferred to Kospi, 42 firms progressed with a combined market capitalization of 206.57 trillion won ($184.89 billion) as of Friday, jumping from 65.77 trillion won logged 20 years ago, according to the Korea Exchange. The three disappeared during the courses of mergers or delisting.

Among the former large-caps on the Kodaq market, the market cap of game developer NCSoft increased the most over the cited period. After its shares moved to the main bourse in May 2003, its market valuation spiked by 3,200 percent to 20.92 trillion won, making it Kospi’s 19th most valuable stock.

Internet giant Kakao came next with its market valuation surging 467 percent to 39.55 trillion won. The nation’s largest portal operator Naver also saw its market cap increase by 10 times to 56.34 trillion won, while pharmaceutical giant Celltrion saw its valuation rise by 31 percent to 33.29 trillion won.

Since the listing transfer firms in market cap account for more than half of the total value of listings on the Kosdaq market, some market experts have voiced deep concern over a widening gap between the nation’s two stock trade boards.

While the Kospi’s large-cap stocks advanced on average of 12.5 percent in January, Kosdaq’s large-cap stocks rose by 0.2 percent. Affected by the small upturn, the tech-heavy index touched the 1,000-point mark last month for the first time in 20 years but soon fell below the level.

“If the companies had remained as the large-cap stocks on the Kosdaq market, the index was likely to soar more than it showed recently,” said a market strategist at a local brokerage who wished to remain anonymous, adding the preference for a Kospi listing has grown significantly among unlisted firms and Kosdaq-listed companies.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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