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Samsung Biologics’ market cap ranking leaps to No. 2 on Kospi

Biopharma firm outruns SK hynix for first time in 40 months amid COVID-19 fallout

(Samsung Biologics)
(Samsung Biologics)

South Korean biopharma company Samsung Biologics on Thursday saw its market capitalization ranking climb to No. 2 on the nation’s main bourse Kospi, beating the world’s No. 2 memory chipmaker SK hynix.

The market fluctuation came amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, which weighed upon several of the conventional manufacturing champions and empowered other sectors such as pharmaceuticals and digital technology.

Shares of Samsung Biologics closed at 794,000 won ($669.33) -- down 15,000 won, or 1.85 percent, from the previous session’s close. The market cap of the firm marked about 52.54 trillion won, down 992.4 billion won from a day earlier.

The company nevertheless rose as the Kospi’s second-largest player as the market cap of chipmaker SK hynix sank to 52.27 trillion won, down nearly 2.33 trillion won from the previous closing.

This was the first time since April 2017 that the chipmaker slipped from the market’s No. 2 status.

SK hynix’s shares dipped 3,200 won, or 4.27 percent, to 71,800 won at Thursday’s closing bell, marking a fall for the seventh consecutive session.

At the beginning of this year, the market value of the chipmaker reached about 69 trillion won but has continuously contracted. Meanwhile, Samsung Biologics’ market cap has rapidly increased from near 28 trillion won in the cited period, as the shares of local bio firms have hit a golden age amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some market watchers had previously forecast that the No. 2 market-cap status would change soon. SK hynix’s stock price had hit a new 52-week high during trading on Feb. 17, but lost its value on the local market. Samsung Biologics’ shares spiked about twice this year from end-2019.

Local market experts attributed the lower share prices of SK hynix to the firm’s gloomy outlook in the second half of this year amid intensifying competition in the industry and an oversupply of DRAMs.

At the same time, experts mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic has strongly affected stock market trends.

“Following the shift in industry’s paradigm, market cap gets to shuffle. Those stock items with strong performance in the market this year are highly likely to be leading stocks in the post-coronavirus era,” said Choi Yoo-june, an analyst at Shinhan Investment.

By Jie Ye-eun (
Korea Herald daum