The Korea Herald


Game stocks gain despite market tumble

By Park Hyung-ki

Published : June 22, 2012 - 20:17

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KOSPI drops 2.21% on weak U.S., Chinese economic data, eurozone woes

Korean game stocks rose Friday despite a sharp decline in the broader stock market beset by the triple whammy of slowdowns in the world’s three biggest economies ― the U.S., China and Europe.

The gaming software stocks jumped 1.55 percent on average, the third highest in terms of increase among industry shares.

The benchmark KOSPI further tumbled below the 1,900 mark, ending at 1,847.39, down 41.76 points, or 2.21 percent. The tech-heavy KOSDAQ just barely managed to close up 0.01 points at 485.19, ending this week’s trading with five consecutive days of minor gains.

The fall in the Korean market followed lackluster economic data in the U.S. and China, and the prolonged instability in the eurozone where the contagion is spreading from Greece to Italy and Spain, analysts said.

The U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average fell some 251 points at 12,573.57 on Thursday, and the Nasdaq lost about 71 points at 2,859.09.

The world’s largest economy saw its stock market decline to its worst in three weeks as the country posted weak manufacturing and housing data.

China, also with data that showed its manufacturing industry slowing down, saw its benchmark Shanghai Composite drop 1.4 percent, or 32 points, at 2,260.88. Other major Asian bourses, including in Japan and Hong Kong, followed the downward trend.

However, entertainment content and gaming industries have generally fared well as they are some of the very few that offer consumers “affordable pleasure” in times of an economic downturn, an industry executive said.

For instance, the Great Depression in the U.S. during the 1930s was one of the harshest moments in financial history, but it was also the era of Hollywood’s Golden Age when great movies with famous actors were produced, the executive said.

The Wizard of Oz, Snow White and Gone with the Wind were some of notable motion pictures during that time.

Gaming heavyweight NCsoft, whose majority shareholder is Nexon, the biggest online gamer, closed up 4,500 won, or 1.66 percent, at 275,500 won.

Analysts say that investor sentiment on NCsoft has been buoyed by expectations over its new game “Blade & Soul,” which will go head-to-head against Blizzard’s latest hit, but server-troubled “Diablo 3.”

Wemade, which has a strategic partnership with mobile messenger Kakao for mobile games, shares also jumped 5 percent, or 2,800 won, at 58,200 won, and JCE, part of Nexon, closed up about 2 percent, or 700 won, at 37,100 won due to its popular mobile game “Rule the Sky.”

By Park Hyong-ki (