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Kakao looks to join W100tr club with financial subsidiaries’ IPOs

Kakao logo (Kakao)
Kakao logo (Kakao)
The combined market capitalization of Kakao and its affiliates is anticipated to reach 100 trillion won ($86.8 billion), as South Korea’s fifth-largest business group’s two financial subsidiaries ready themselves for initial public offerings.

As of Friday’s closing bell, the mobile messenger giant and its two listed affiliates Kakao Games and Neptune marked an aggregate market cap of 74.84 trillion won, according to the Korea Exchange on Sunday. Of that total, Kakao’s value stood at 66.45 trillion won, while Kakao Games came to 7.49 trillion won, backed by a recent stock surge. Neptune’s market value recorded 903.8 billion won.

The accumulated valuation of three Kakao firms follows the country’s four biggest conglomerates in the 100 trillion-won club -- Samsung Group (753.7 trillion won), SK Group (212.33 trillion won), LG Group (153.25 trillion won) and Hyundai Motor Group (149.31 trillion won).

KakaoBank’s Kospi market debut is slated for Aug. 6, with Kakao’s valuation expected to surpass 92 trillion won after the online banking unit’s listing. Although Kakao Pay’s anticipated summer IPO process has been delayed due to a problem with its prospectus, market insiders forecast the company’s valuation after listing to reach some 12.55 trillion won.

As of the end of 2019, Kakao Group’s market value came in at 13.24 trillion won, positioning it as the 13th-largest business group here. But the affiliates’ stock prices spiked, backed by the fast growing demand for contactless service under the pandemic situation. As a result, the nation’s tech giant emerged as the country’s fifth-largest conglomerate in terms of market cap in just a year and a half.

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