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Exchanges reach 900 trillion won

May 24,2007
For a few hours yesterday, Korea’s stock markets exceeded 900 trillion won ($967.5 billion) in market capitalization for the first time, according to the Korean Exchange.
And it might not stop.
“Within the year, the market capitalization is likely to exceed 1 quadrillion won,” said Hong Kin-seok, the chief of the securities disclosure department at Samsung Securities.
A little more than two years ago, on Feb. 18, 2005, the market hit 500 trillion won for the first time, the exchange said.
The two stock markets’ capitalization reached 900 trillion won at 10:50 a.m. yesterday, said Jong Tae-won, a spokesman for the exchange.
At the 3 p.m. close, the main exchange’s capitalization was at 809.3 trillion won and the Kosdaq was at 90.5 trillion won, just below the 900 trillion won mark.
In just the last month and a half, the market value of the exchanges has climbed 100 trillion won, Jong said.
The two stock markets’ capitalization surpassed 400 trillion won on Dec. 22, 1999, but growth was stagnant for the next five years. The capitalization grew to 600 trillion won on Sept. 20, 2005 and 700 trillion won on Dec. 12, in the same year. There was a short contraction last year, then the capitalization surpassed 800 trillion won on April 4, fueled by the global stock market’s growth.
Overflowing liquidity, a positive economic outlook and improved business results have been driving the local stock markets to new highs each day recently, Jong said.
The local stock markets’ $975.6 billion capitalization is even bigger than Korea’s gross domestic product last year, $888 billion.
Korea’s five biggest industries ― financial, electronics, transportation equipment, chemical and retail ― accounted for 61 percent of the capitalization on the main exchange as of Friday, Jong said.
The financial industry has become Korea’s top industry. Its market capitalization is 149.6 trillion won, slightly ahead of the electronics industry, at 149 trillion won.


By Limb Jae-un Staff Writer [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr]



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