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IPO market growing weak over market volatility

A screen shows a Kospi chart and the won-dollar exchange rate at the Hana Bank headquarters, in Myeong-dong, Seoul (Yonhap)
A screen shows a Kospi chart and the won-dollar exchange rate at the Hana Bank headquarters, in Myeong-dong, Seoul (Yonhap)

South Korea‘s initial public offering market that hit a record high in the first half has been suffering plunging profit rates since July, market insiders said Sunday.

According to Korea Exchange, the country’s stock market operator, stocks of 40 companies sold through public subscriptions saw an average of 27.5 percent in profit from July through Friday. The figure has nearly shed half compared to the 53.8 percent average profit rate of 52 companies’ stocks that went public in the first and second quarter this year.

Shares of Lotte Group’s car rental unit Lotte Rental fell 22.1 percent from the offering price while those of COVID-19 test kit manufacturer SD Biosensor and game giant Krafton are each down by 9.6 percent and 2 percent.

The number of newly listed companies since July that have succeeded in the “ddasang” feat marked only seven, according to industry sources. Ddasang, referring to a “double increase” in Korean, is local market slang describing shares that reach the daily upper limit on their first day of flotation. Nineteen listed companies enjoyed such success in the first half.

Market insiders say investment sentiment in the IPO market has withered due to recent market volatility that could be negative to newly listed companies’ valuation.

The country’s main bourse Kospi and secondary Kosdaq saw six and eight business days, respectively, where the index dropped or rose more than 1 percent from Oct. 1-22.

But experts say subscribing new stocks is still an optimal choice of investment.

“Kakao Pay and other megasized deals are on their way for market debut in the fourth quarter. Investors should keep in mind that the new stocks and funds will eventually see profit when comparing with the IPO price,” Oh Gwang-young, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities, said in a report.

By Byun Hye-jin (hyejin2@heraldcorp.com)
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