Even as the African swine fever outbreak is spreading in South Korea, many investors are offloading their stocks to make profits from businesses related to meat processing and quarantine services, data showed Thursday.
Though such profit-taking sales are legal, the stock price plunge and consequent impact on smaller individual investors has invoked criticism.
According to the electronic disclosure system operated by the Financial Supervisory Service, poultry processor and distributor Maniker’s largest shareholder Easy Bio sold nearly 6 percent stake, worth 13.7 billion won ($11.4 million), on Sept. 26-27. The move reduced its stake in Maniker from the previous 32.8 percent to 26.7 percent.
|Quarantine officials prepare to begin the culling of pigs in Paju, north of Seoul, on Tuesday, after a new confirmed case of African swine fever was reported from the area earlier in the day. (Yonhap)|
Maniker’s share price hiked to 1,100 won on Sept. 17 from the previous 800 won when news of the AFS broke out. It went on to hit 1,705 won on Sept. 25 before eventually falling back.
Taekyung Industrial, the largest shareholder of Baekkwang Mineral Products, manufacturer of the quicklime chemical compound needed for quarantine services, offloaded its stake in the firm worth nearly 20 billion won on Sept. 20-24.
The largest shareholder of Eagle Vet, Kang Tae-seong, who is also the CEO of the firm, sold his stake worth 6.3 billion won of the supplier of animal medicine and antibiotics on Sept. 20.
“Usually the decision of the largest shareholders to offload their stoks is viewed as a negative factor in the market,” noted Hwang Se-woon, a researcher at the Korea Capital Market Institute.
By Jung Min-kyung (firstname.lastname@example.org)