Hanmi Science Co. was the top performer on the local stock market this year, thanks to the two multitrillion-won deals clinched by its pharmaceutical subsidiary, data revealed Wednesday.
Hanmi Science shares closed at 140,000 won ($120) on the benchmark KOSPI on Tuesday, posting a stunning 806.15 percent hike from 15,450 won recorded on Dec. 30, the final trading day last year.
The company holds a 41.37 percent stake in Hanmi Pharmaceutical, the country’s largest drugmaker and this year’s second strongest performer on the stock market. Shares in Hanmi Pharmaceutical rose to 735,000 won, up 620.59 percent from 102,000 won, over the same period.
Shares of the Hanmi duo skyrocketed in early November, when the pharma unit sold “Quantum Project,” a portfolio of diabetes treatments, to Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis, the world’s fifth-largest pharmaceutical giant, for 4.8 trillion won.
Only a few days later, the company announced another deal with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of U.S. multinational health care giant Johnson & Johnson, amounting to some 1 trillion won.
“Pharma shares stand out in a slow economy because demand for health care is less sensitive to economic conditions,” said Mirae Asset Securities analyst Park Jae-chul.
“Once a pharma licensing deal is sealed, investors need to keep an eye on whether it leads to an actual product launch, because this requires consistent results in clinical trials,” Park added.
Pharmaceuticals and related sectors posted strong performance throughout the year, with multiple pharma firms, including Samsung Pharm Co., HanAll BioPharma Co. and JW Holdings, in the top 10 KOSPI roll this year.
The combined market cap of bio and health care companies on Korea’s main bourse KOSPI came in at 28.53 trillion won as of Friday, almost double the size from a year ago.
By Chung Joo-won (email@example.com