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After 25-year ride, Kosdaq’s market cap jumps over 50-fold

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : June 30, 2021 - 15:31

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The value of stocks traded on South Korea‘s tech-laden Kosdaq market had reached 427.7 trillion won ($379 billion) as of Tuesday, soaring more than 50 times since its launch on July 1, 1996, data showed Wednesday.

According to a report released from the Korea Exchange, the market began with a combined market capitalization of 7.6 trillion won 25 years ago, but as the number of listed firms increased from 341 to 1,506 over the cited period, the secondary bourse has rapidly increased its size.

Following the growth, the daily trading amount on average in the Kosdaq market also jumped over 500-fold to 12 trillion won this year.

The Kosdaq market previously relied heavily on the manufacturing sector, but it began diversifying its portfolio with various growth businesses such as the cultural content, bio and health care sectors in recent years.

The market cap of bio and health care listed firms accounted for 16.7 percent as of June, compared to 0.4 percent in 1999. The market value of cultural content jumped from 1.2 percent to 9.6 percent as well.

The bourse operator attributed the result to 67.4 trillion won of capital financing -- 31.6 trillion won from initial public offering proceeds and 35.8 trillion won from capital increases via issuing new stocks -- to innovative companies’ business growth.

The tech-heavy market has fluctuated widely several times over its 2 1/2 decades, under the impact of the worldwide dot-com bubble in 2000, the global financial crisis in 2008 and the ongoing pandemic. But the index soon recovered amid boosting market integrity and the government‘s activation policy, the KRX report showed.

Hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the index nose-dived to a yearly low of 428.35 points last year. But it was able to rebound thanks to bio stock rallies in line with hopes of vaccine developments and treatments.

The tech-heavy index surpassed the 1,000-point threshold, setting its first closing high above the mark since September 2000 in April this year. At Wednesday’s closing bell, the Kosdaq had advanced 0.73 percent from the previous session’s close to 1,029.96 points.

“The Kosdaq market has reshaped a paradigm in the Korean economy. It has been especially proven during the COVID-19 crisis,” a KRX official said. “Led by investors‘ attention to the market’s growth potential, continuous investment demand has flowed to sectors with a bright future in the post-COVID era.”