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EcoPro shares fly high on battery frenzy

By Im Eun-byel

Published : July 10, 2023 - 15:32

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Electronic board shows share prices of battery materials firm EcoPro, which hit a new high, rising over 1 million won, Monday. (Yonhap) Electronic board shows share prices of battery materials firm EcoPro, which hit a new high, rising over 1 million won, Monday. (Yonhap)

Shares of South Korean battery materials firm EcoPro rose to over 1 million won ($766.58) during trading hours Monday, surpassing a significant bar for a stock listed on Kosdaq.

The stock price of EcoPro closed at 965,000 won, lower than its previous closing price of 988,000 won. It hit a record high of 1.01 million won earlier during the day.

As of closing, the market cap of EcoPro stood at 25.69 trillion won, shoulder to shoulder with tech giants Kakao and Naver, which are worth 22.14 trillion won and 31.69 trillion won, respectively. Both Kakao and Naver are listed on Kospi, the country’s main bourse.

It is the first time in 16 years for a firm listed on Kosdaq to surpass the 1 million won bar. In 2007, the shares of Dongil Steel recorded 1.1 million won. EcoPro is the fifth firm on Kosdaq to join the 1 million won club.

Riding on the battery boom, EcoPro share prices have risen sharply, jumping from 110,000 won on Jan. 2 to 769,000 won on April 11.

In May, when EcoPro shares were recording new highs backed by a retail investor frenzy, some securities firms suggested the shares were overheated, which eventually led to prices falling slightly to 499,000 won on May 15.

The shares, however, rebounded and rose to the 700,000 won range last month and the 900,000 won range earlier this month. Share prices have reached nearly double the target stock price of 425,000 won, an average of figures suggested by local brokerage firms.

The jump in EcoPro shares are likely thanks to the positive outlook for the battery industry. Tesla's second-quarter production and delivery figures released earlier this month showed its deliveries are up 83 percent compared to last year’s second quarter.

EcoPro could also be caught up in a short squeeze, which is when a stock's price rapidly increases as short sellers bail out to cut their losses.

As of Wednesday, the short interest of EcoPro, meaning the number of shares that have been sold short and remain outstanding, was 1.23 trillion won, 4.92 percent of the firm's total market value.