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Market cap of listed firms gains 16.4% in 2023

April 23, 2023 - 15:43 By Im Eun-byel

The total market capitalization of listed firms in Korea rose by 16.4 percent this year, an increase of more than 341 trillion won ($256 billion) from the year-end of 2022.

As the stock market slowly rebounds, the combined market cap of Korea's benchmark index Kospi and secondary bourse Kosdaq swelled from 2,079.13 trillion won to 2,420.25 trillion won during the period, marking a 16.4 percent increase, or 341.11 trillion won, data from the country’s sole bourse operator Korea Exchange said. The figures are from Friday and exclude the value of preferred shares.

The total market cap of Kospi rose by 13.86 percent from 1,766.53 trillion won to 2,011.39 trillion won, while the secondary bourse Kosdaq rose by over 30.79 percent from 312.6 trillion won to 408.85 trillion won.

On Kospi, tech stocks, represented by market heavyweights, led gains.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics was the top runner on the index, holding the largest market cap of 392.21 trillion won. Battery maker LG Energy Solution came in second with a 133.84 trillion won market cap.

South Korean chipmaker SK hynix followed the list with 64.86 trillion won.

Posco Holdings, the holding firm of steelmaking conglomerate Posco Group, held 33.49 trillion won, while its affiliate battery materials producer Posco Future M held 29.39 trillion won.

Posco Group has been seeing an increase in its market cap, backed by the support of retail investors who are anticipating gains in its battery businesses.

Naver, the No. 1 portal operator and internet firm here, held 31.21 trillion won and Kakao, the nation’s largest mobile messenger operator, held 25.8 trillion won. Both companies moved down ranks due to the slow market.

Kosdaq, Korea’s secondary stock market loaded with tech firms, saw a major turnover this year. Over the past few months, Kosdaq has been under the spotlight as some of its listed firms are seeing a rapid hike in share prices.

Battery material firm EcoPro BM took the top place with a market cap of 26.65 trillion won, followed by its holdings company EcoPro with 15.28 trillion won.

The shares of EcoPro and its affiliates have skyrocketed this year as Korean battery firms are expected to boom under the US government’s Inflation Reduction Act.

Celltrion Healthcare, the marketing unit of Korea’s drug developer Celltrion, battery material firm L&F and biopharmaceutical company HLB followed the list.

Rankings of entertainment-related agencies shifted as well.

Studio Dragon, South Korean entertainment mogul CJ ENM’s drama production subsidiary, fell to 17th place from the No. 8 spot from the year-end in 2022. It held 2.03 trillion won.

JYP Entertainment’s market cap increased from 2.4 trillion won to 3.04 trillion won. The shares of SM Entertainment, which recently went through an ownership struggle, stood at 2.39 trillion won. YG Entertainment, another major K-pop agency, held stocks worth 1.1 trillion won.