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Seoul stocks shed over W12tr on coronavirus woes

Kospi’s ranking among G-20 dips to 13th from 6th

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

With the number of COVID-19 patients expanding rapidly across South Korea, the domestic stock market saw its market capitalization shed over 12 trillion won ($9.95 billion) over the past month, data showed Sunday.

According to data released by financial market tracker FnGuide, the market cap of both the nation’s benchmark Kospi and secondary tech-heavy Kosdaq listed firms shed a combined 12.78 trillion won as of Thursday since the country reported the first case of COVID-19 on Jan. 20.

Taking the hardest blow were sectors such as cosmetics, hotel and leisure, wholesale and retail, textiles and garments, as well as aviation services.

AmoreG, a listed firm of Amorepacific Group, on Thursday closed at 68,500 won -- down 24.89 percent from a month earlier. It led the firm’s valuation to shrink to nearly 5.65 trillion won, plunging 1.47 trillion won.

Amorepacific, another listed firm of the cosmetics giant, also saw its valuation shrink nearly 2.43 trillion won, while LG Household & Healthcare’s market cap reduced over 234 billion won in the cited period.

Wholesale and retail sectors along with textiles and garments sectors also saw their valuation suffer steep falls of some 2.92 trillion won and 1.77 trillion won, respectively.

As the number of travelers decreased over the month, the hotel and leisure and aviation sectors also logged a larger market cap loss of 1.85 trillion won and 260 billion won, respectively, in the given period.

While the COVID-19 spread has shaken stock markets globally, Korea’s stocks showed relatively larger fluctuations, falling 2.45 percent over the month. According to Bloomberg, the global ranking of Korea’s main bourse slipped to No. 13 from No. 6 among the Group of 20 nations.

Prior to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Kospi index gained 2.29 percent from Jan. 2 to Jan. 16, which marked the sixth-highest price increase among the 20 countries.

Some local market analysts forecast that a further negative impact on the nation’s economy may result from the virus outbreak.

“It is yet premature to determine the intensity and duration of COVID-19 outbreak’s impact on local listed firms, but the consequences are likely to last at least a quarter or more,” said Bang Kyung-Nae, an analyst from Korea Investment & Securities, calling for more focus on investing in sectors with high dependency on China’s economy.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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