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Hyundai Motor's market cap slides on strike, weak earnings forecast

[THE INVESTOR] The market value of Hyundai Motor has slid two notches to the fifth spot among all listed firms here, amid ongoing labor strike that incurred billions of dollars in lost production and a weak earnings forecast.

South Korea’s largest automaker posted a market cap of 30.67 trillion won (US$27.56 billion) based on closing value on Oct. 7, dropping from the previous third rank.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics took the unmatched top spot with 241.68 trillion won, followed by a distant runner-up Korea Electric Power Corp. with 33.12 trillion won. Samsung Group’s de facto holding company Samsung C&T and chipmaker SK hynix surpassed Hyundai to rank the third and the fourth, with market cap of 31.39 trillion won and 30.72 won, respectively. 



Just last year, Hyundai occupied the second place after Samsung Electronics. But after purchasing a land lot in Seoul’s affluent Gangnam area from the state-run KEPCO for 10 trillion won, the automaker handed over the No. 2 spot to KEPCO.

According to market watchers, Hyundai’s latest downgrade is a combination of the ongoing strike and South Korean currency’s strength against the US dollar, which is suspected to hit a toll on its performance for the third quarter.

“Due to the ongoing labor strike, Hyundai Motor’s third-quarter performance will be below market expectations,” analyst Jeon Jae-chun of Daishin Securities said. “The won-dollar exchange rate also had a negative effect on the earnings.”

Chung Yong-jin, a researcher at Shinhan Investment, forecast Hyundai’s sales will decrease 9.5 percent on-year to 21 trillion won in the third quarter, while operating profit will fall 12 percent to 1.3 trillion won, as a result of the intense-level of labor strike.

Market watchers view it is less likely for Hyundai to fall further below the fifth place as of now. But the No. 6 Naver, whose market cap stands at 27.78 trillion won, is catching up quickly with its continuously rising share price.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)
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