AhnLab plunges despite founder’s presidential bid

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AhnLab plunges despite founder’s presidential bid

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The share price of AhnLab, the computer anti-virus company founded by new presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo, fell yesterday on the first day of trade after the software mogul declared he would make a run for the nation’s top post.

After procrastinating for months, Ahn said shortly after the stock market closed on Wednesday that he would enter December’s race, prompting pundits to predict his company would shoot up in value the next day.

It did indeed climb as much as 3 percent yesterday morning amid choppy trading before heading south in the afternoon and finally closing 6 percent lower than the previous day at 117,300 won ($104.50). On Wednesday it dropped 0.08 percent.

Ahn, who holds a 28.56 percent stake in the company, has vowed to give all of his shares away if he wins the election. He officially resigned as chairman of the board yesterday.

Other stocks associated with Ahn’s political rivals also saw their fortunes slide. EG dipped almost 2.4 percent to close at 57,500 won. Its chairman, Park Ji-man, is the brother of Park Geun-hye, the Saenuri Party’s presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, Wooridul Pharmaceutical, which is linked to Democratic United Party presidential hopeful Moon Jae-in, saw its stock plunge by almost the daily limit of 15 percent to finish at 2,520 won.

Moon’s law firm serves as the company’s legal consultant. Additionally, Wooridul’s majority shareholder was the personal physician of late President Roh Moo-hyun, whom Moon worked for as a secretary.

Although many expect to see Ahn and Moon form a coalition in order to field a single liberal candidate with a support base big enough to beat Park, Ahn has deflected questions on the matter and is keeping his cards close to his chest.

By Lee Ho-jeong [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]

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