The Korea Herald


SPAC listing market stable after rules eased: KRX

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Aug. 15, 2023 - 15:17

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The Korea Exchange headquarters located in Yeouido, western Seoul. (KRX) The Korea Exchange headquarters located in Yeouido, western Seoul. (KRX)

The Korea Exchange, the nation’s sole bourse operator, said Tuesday that the stock market for special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, remains stable after price fluctuations in the first months of eased regulations.

A SPAC is a publicly traded shell corporation that is formed to raise capital through listings to acquire or merge with an existing company. Most SPACs make their debut at the public offering price of 2,000 won ($1.50) per share as mergers and acquisitions could be difficult if IPOs launch on a larger scale. The price is normally maintained near the IPO price, as a SPAC is a paper company made for M&As.

There have been criticisms that SPAC debuts are an unstable investment outlet with extreme price fluctuations, since the limit of the quotation price for IPOs was eased from 63-260 percent to 60-400 in June.

The KRX, however, dismissed the concerns, saying that the SPAC market remains stable as of late.

Since the regulatory easing, seven new SPACs were listed on Kosdaq, the nation’s tech-heavy secondary bourse as of Thursday.

Kyobo No. 14 SPAC which was listed on July 6 saw its IPO prices nearly triple on the first trading day, with prices going up to 299 percent of its debut price on July 6.

But more recently, SPAC IPO prices have been relatively moderate. Prices of KB No. 26 SPAC and Hana Financial No. 28 SPAC, which made their stock debuts Thursday, reached 123.8 percent and 66 percent of the offered prices on the first trading day, respectively. They closed near the IPO price of 2,000 won on the day.

Stock IPOs have remained stable as well, the KRX said. Stock prices of some IPO deals surged above 300 percent on the first trading day, when price regulation was first eased. However, more recent debuts have been showing moderate flows, with some even closing under their offered prices.

"With eased regulation, prices of some SPACs surged in the beginning, reflecting investors' anticipations," a KRX official said. "But as investors are showing better understandings of the regulations, SPACs are showing more moderate price movements."