The Korea Herald


Fundraising via IPO hits $10b in Korea’s record year

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Oct. 27, 2021 - 15:02

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This photo, taken on Sept. 30, shows a night view of Seoul's financial district in Yeouido. (Yonhap) This photo, taken on Sept. 30, shows a night view of Seoul's financial district in Yeouido. (Yonhap)
Fundraising activities via a company’s initial public offering rose sixfold by volume in South Korea‘s capital market during the first three quarters of this year over investors’ growing appetite for debutants on the stock market here, data showed Wednesday.

The combined IPO proceeds of Korean companies, including special purpose acquisition companies, through the newly-issued shares between January and September came to 11.9 trillion won ($10.2 billion), up 478.3 percent from the previous year, according to data compiled by the Financial Supervisory Service. The figure excludes sales of existing shares by private shareholders.

This is out of 182.8 trillion won fundraising via new stocks and bonds, the data also showed.

The year-to-date fundraising volume via IPO activities has already exceeded the full-year record-high figure in 2017.

As of July, Korea‘s IPO fundraising came to 6.4 trillion won, higher than 5.9 trillion won through 2017 and 4.3 trillion won in 2010.

Setting aside the milestone, Korea went on to witness more trillion-won IPOs since August, in blockbuster debuts of gaming giant Krafton and world’s largerst shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries.

This is the latest indication that Korea‘s IPO market is headed for the record year, buoyed by mega IPOs.

According to data from the Korea Exchange, a stock market operator, 91 Korean companies that filed for IPOs have raised a combined 17.8 trillion won in proceeds as of Wednesday, higher than 10.1 trillion won in 2010 and 8 trillion won in 2017. These figures include sales of existing shares. 

Korea saw five IPOs that raised over 1 trillion won in proceeds. These were for the listing of battle-royale style PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds franchise developer Krafton, mobile-only lender KakaoBank, battery materials firm SK ie technology, vaccine manufacturer SK Bioscience and shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Among them, Krafton‘s IPO size of 4.3 trillion won was the second-largest in Korea’s history, following Samsung Life Insurance‘s 2010 market debut that fetched 4.9 trillion won.

Such blockbuster IPOs were largely lucrative to investors. Until Tuesday, SK Bioscience rose 250 percent from the IPO price since its March listing, while Hyundai Heavy jumped 80 percent in a month after September debut. SK ie technology climbed up 72 percent and KakaoBank soared 59 percent, respectively.

So far, 14 companies went to the KRX’s main board Kospi, the KRX data also showed.

In addition, Kakao Pay, a financial technology company mainly dedicated to mobile payment, is scheduled to complete its 1.5 trillion-won IPO Thursday, which was 29.6 times oversubscribed by retail investors.

Moreover, IPO hopefuls such as civil engineering firm Hyundai Engineering and lithium-ion battery maker LG Energy Solution are envisioning large-scale fundraising in the near future.