The Korea Herald


Superconductor-themed stocks rally on hope for breakthrough finding

Retail investor frenzy shifts from secondary batteries to superconductor industry

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Aug. 7, 2023 - 15:48

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A photo of LK-99, a compound that a group of Korean researchers claim has superconductivity, provided by Kim Hyun-tak, one of the co-authors of the research (Screenshot from YouTube) A photo of LK-99, a compound that a group of Korean researchers claim has superconductivity, provided by Kim Hyun-tak, one of the co-authors of the research (Screenshot from YouTube)

Stock prices of superconductor-themed shares rebounded Monday, backed by a retail investor frenzy with high hopes on the potential game-changing room temperature superconductor technology.

Shares of superconductor industry related firms continued to enjoy a rally from last week after a research team including the Quantum Energy Research Centre said it discovered a room-temperature superconductor called LK-99 on July 22.

Related stocks experienced a slight dip on Friday, when skeptical responses on the research surfaced, but they bounced back on Monday as retail investors flocked to ride on the superconductor discovery wave.

According to the Korea Exchange, the country’s sole bourse market operator, stock prices of SuNam, Duksung, Seowon, Shinsung Delta Tech, Power Logics and LS Cable & System Asia advanced on Monday.

“With the escalated volatility of secondary battery share prices, some of the supply and demand have moved on to superconductor-themed shares and is leading the stock rally of related shares,” said Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Shares of SuNam, a local firm which manufactures superconducting materials, closed at 12,610 won ($9.66) on Monday on Korea's secondary tech-laden bourse Kosdaq, more than four times its closing price of 2,980 won seen on July 21, a day before the study was released.

SuNam was put on suspension for trading for one-day on Friday due to an extreme surge of its stock prices. Despite the suspension, its shares continued to gain on Monday backed by strong investor sentiments.

Share prices of Duksung and Seowon have also been on the rise as well.

Duksung, known to have been working on developing a superconducting magnet, closed at 11,900 won on the country's key stock index Kospi, up from its previous closing price of 9,180 won. Before the boom, its closing price was 3,980 won on July 21.

Seowon, a producer of the key superconductor material copper, closed at 2,460 won on Kospi, nearly double its closing price of 1,338 won on July 21.

Shinsung Delta Tech and Power Logics, which have been grouped as superconductor-themed shares as they have invested in L&S Venture Capital, which holds a stake in the Quantum Energy Research Centre, also saw a gain in their shares, both listed on Kosdaq.

The ongoing rally has been heating up the local stock market. Even the daily trading volume of Kospi and Kosdaq from Aug. 1 to Aug. 3 stood at an average of 28.77 trillion won, nearly double the monthly average of 14.26 trillion won from August 2022.

Market watchers are warning against the sudden price surge, as the research has not yet been officially verified by scientific circles.

“Stock prices of superconductor-themed shares will continue to fluctuate with the news flow,” said Cho Jun-ki, an analyst at SK Securities. “Caution on investment is needed, as an unfavorable situation could unfold when anticipation turns into disappointment.”

Some firms even issued an official statement over the stock surge, denying they are closely related to the potential new technology or the Quantum Energy Research Centre.

"We are concerned over the company receiving attention after being categorized as a (superconductor) themed stock," SuNam said through its official website on Friday. "We do not have any cooperation for research or business with the institution that has claimed to have discovered a room temperature, ambient pressure superconductor."

Daejung Chemicals & Metals also denied its relation to the Quantum Energy Research Centre.