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Stock market shows marked polarization in cap

South Korea's bourse has seen both big-cap and small-cap companies rise considerably this year, pointing to a marked polarization in terms of market capitalization, data showed Friday.

Companies with a market value of 1 trillion won ($890 million) or more numbered 200 as of Thursday, up 17 from a year earlier, according to the data by the bourse operator Korea Exchange.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Of the total, top-cap Samsung Electronics Co. and 34 other companies saw their market capitalization hover above the 10 trillion-won mark, seven more than the previous year.

New entrants into the 10 trillion-won club include Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group; Hana Financial Group; and major commercial lender Woori Bank.

In tandem with the rise in big caps, the number of small caps also surged as they were mostly left out of the stock market's recent bull run.

The number of companies with a market value of 100 billion won or lower came to 1,108 as of Thursday, up 30 from the end of last year.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index soared 17.8 percent to 2,386.85 over the cited period, with the price index of the tech-laden KOSDAQ market gaining only 1.8 percent to 643.09.

Foreign investors, who have powered this year's bullish run, have spent nearly eight times more money on stocks listed on the main market than on KOSDAQ shares.

Offshore investors net buying of KOSPI stocks reached 8.4 trillion won during the period, with their net purchases of KOSDAQ shares coming to 1.2 trillion won.

The KOSPI was on a tear in July, hitting an all-time high of 2,451.53 on July 24, on the back of massive buying by foreigners lured by improving corporate earnings and the undervaluation of South Korean stocks. (Yonhap)

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