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KRX lifts trading halt on Osstem Implant after monthslong break

The Osstem Implant headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)
The Osstem Implant headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)
The Korea Exchange said Wednesday that Osstem Implant would begin trading Thursday, lifting a trading suspension put on Jan. 3, when the dental implant maker reported insider theft amounting to 221 billion won ($175 million).

“The decision is based on the fact that the company has improved its corporate governance and internal oversight and had it checked up by outside experts,” the KRX said in a statement.

The bourse operator said such improvement was necessary for the implant maker to resume trading on March 29, when it delayed its decision on whether to lift the trading halt. At the time, the KRX could have greenlit a resumption of trading immediately, or a year after the firm put its financial house in order.

Delisting the company was another option, but that was considered too extreme for the largest dental implant maker in the Asia-Pacific region.

In the first quarter of this year, Osstem Implant reported the biggest ever operating profit and revenue. Operating profit jumped 100 percent on-year to 51.2 billion won and revenue soared 36 percent on-year to 234.1 billion won.

The implant maker has a market value of 2.3 trillion won and individual shareholders hold a 62 percent stake in the company.

By Choi Si-young (