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Market cap of S. Korea’s top 100 firms climbs near 80% in 5 years

Yearly changes in the combined market cap of South Korea’s top 100 firms (Korea CXO Institute)
Yearly changes in the combined market cap of South Korea’s top 100 firms (Korea CXO Institute)


The combined market cap of the top 100 South Korean companies reached a record high of 1,745 trillion won ($1.6 trillion) this year, up 77.5 percent from 983 trillion won in 2016, data showed Thursday.

According to a report by local corporate tracker Korea CXO Institute, the combined market cap of local firms as of Jan. 1 jumped 43.1 percent on-year, or 526 trillion won. The corresponding figures were those observed on the first day of each year at the bourse operator Korea Exchange.

Samsung Electronics maintained its unrivaled lead with the total market valuation of 495.4 trillion won, followed by SK hynix with 91.7 trillion won and LG Chem with 62.7 trillion won. Preferred shares of Samsung Electronics also came in fourth place with 61.2 trillion won, and Samsung Biologics followed next with 54.8 trillion won.

The other top 10 companies included Naver with 48 trillion won, Celltrion with 47 trillion won, Samsung SDI with 46 trillion won, Hyundai Motors with 44 trillion won and Kakao with 35 trillion won.

Nineteen firms joined the top 100, including three listed just last year -- SK Biopharmaceuticals, Big Hit Entertainment and Kakao Games.

The rise in the combined market cap of local firms came along with the recent surge of South Korea‘s benchmark stock index, which marked the historic 3,000-point milestone for the first time in its 65-year history, the report explained.

The South Korea stock market boomed largely due to improved performances of firms that deal with products that saw increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, the report added.

In 2017, the combined market cap of the top 100 firms reached 1,075 trillion won. The figure increased to 1,375 trillion won in 2018, but the upward trend fell downward in 2019 to 1,094 trillion won. In 2020, the figure bounced back to 1,219 trillion won.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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