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IPO proceeds log record-breaking W16tr

More listings planned later this year to add fuel to sizzling IPO market

South Korea’s financial district of Yeouido, located in western Seoul (Yonhap)
South Korea’s financial district of Yeouido, located in western Seoul (Yonhap)
It has been a record year for the South Korean initial public offering market as companies succeeding in local listings have fetched more than a combined 16 trillion won ($13.8 billion) in proceeds, according to data compiled by the sole bourse operator here Sunday.

The accumulated IPO proceeds of 73 firms listed this year on the domestic main board and tech-heavy bourse as of Friday came to 16.01 trillion won, the Korea Exchange data showed. The figure not only beat those of the total annual IPO proceeds of last year with 5.94 trillion won, but also exceeded the previous record of 10.1 trillion won seen in 2010.

Of the 73 listed companies, 13 attracted nearly 13.7 trillion won ahead of trading on the Kospi market, while the remaining 60 raised 2.32 trillion won before making debuts on the Kosdaq board.

A series of major companies seeking to go public propelled the IPO market this year.

Game developer Krafton raked in 4.31 trillion won through its IPO, marking the second largest in value in local market history. Samsung Life Insurance has remained the title holder of the nation’s largest IPO deal at 4.89 trillion won since 2010.

Including Krafton, megasized deals such as KakaoBank (2.55 trillion won), SK ie technology (2.25 trillion won) and SK Bioscience (1.49 trillion won) largely contributed to the sizzling IPO market. The four companies’ IPO proceeds surpassed 10.6 trillion won in total.

Lotte Group’s car rental service unit Lotte Rental (850.9 billion won), COVID-19 test kits manufacturer SD Biosensor (776.4 billion won) and Singapore-based biopharmaceutical firm Prestige Biopharma (490.9 billion won) accumulated hundreds of billions of won in IPO proceeds as well.

With more blockbuster IPOs on deck in the remaining months of the year, the combined proceeds for 2021 are expected to exceed the 20 trillion-won mark, according to market watchers’ forecasts.

Mobile payment app operator Kakao Pay and global shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries aim to raise up to 1.53 trillion won and 1.08 trillion won, respectively, prior to their market debuts, they said. But the outlook for battery maker LG Energy Solution’s much-anticipated IPO this year has become uncertain due to General Motors’ recent recall of Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles that run on LG Energy Solution’s batteries.

“Annual IPO proceeds this year are projected to reach between 25 trillion won and 30 trillion won with more companies with market attention getting ready for listings,” said Na Seung-doo, an analyst at SK Securities. “The abundant liquidity environment is highly likely to remain throughout the year in the IPO market.”

By Jie Ye-eun (