More than 1 in 10 stocks in South Korea’s markets hit an all-time high in closing price this year, while losers outnumbered gainers on both the Kospi and Kosdaq, amid unprecedented rallies mainly led by giants, according to data from market operator Korea Exchange on Monday.
(Ahn Hoon / The Korea Herald)
Of 2,023 active common and preferred shares listed through 2016 on both the broad-based Kospi and tech-heavy Kosdaq, 237 had hit record-highs as of Wednesday.
Among the 237 shares, about two-thirds, or 157, were on the Kosdaq, accounting for 13.4 percent of all 1,171 Kosdaq-listed stocks. On the Kospi, 80 of 852 shares hit closing records.
Over the cited period, the Kospi jumped 21.32 percent, while the Kosdaq rose 4.8 percent.
By sector, finance on the Kospi and semiconductors on the Kosdaq benefited the most when it came to the number of shares that saw record-high closings. Half of the top 10 shares by market cap on each market were on record runs this year, showed KRX data.
On the main bourse, four out of the top 10 Kospi-listed shares -- smartphone maker Samsung Electronics’ common and preferred shares, internet firm Naver and insurer Samsung Life Insurance -- closed at a record high Wednesday. As for Samsung Electronics’ common share, the winning streak continued through Thursday.
Among the top five shares on the second-tier bourse that hit all-time high closing prices, four -- Celltrion, SillaJen, Medy-Tox and Hugel -- were biotech firms. Biopharma giant Celltrion Healthcare, which hit a record-high closing price Friday, was excluded from the KRX estimate as the firm was just listed in July.
This came in contrast to the number of losers outpacing gainers on both the Kospi and Kosdaq, indicating the record rally did not necessarily benefit small and mid-caps.
As of Wednesday, 459 out of 853 Kospi-listed shares and 783 out of 1,171 Kosdaq-listed stocks took losses.
Another set of data from corporate tracker Chaebul.com backed up the trend.
As of Friday, the market cap volume of the Kospi and Kosdaq reached 1,842.9 trillion won ($1.64 billion), jumping 300.6 trillion won, or 19.5 percent, from the end of 2016.
But 60 percent of that, or 180.6 trillion won, came from the listed units of four major conglomerates -- Samsung, SK, Hyundai Motor and LG -- according to Chaebul.com.
Affiliates under Samsung Group solely saw their market cap soar by 119 trillion won, accounting for 40 percent of the whole market cap increase this year.
With Hyundai Motor ensnared in worsening Korea-China relations on Korea’s decision to deploy a US anti-missile system here, as well as lingering labor disputes, Hyundai Motor Group saw its market cap rise 1.7 trillion won, while its market share shrank from 6.3 percent to 5.4 percent as of Friday.
By Son Ji-hyoung