1 in 10 Kospi firms hit records

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1 in 10 Kospi firms hit records

One in 10 listed companies on the benchmark Kospi reached an all-time high in their stock value this year.

The Korea Exchange said Monday that a total of 89 out of 889 firms listed on the Kospi saw their highest share values this year, according to data up to last Wednesday, a drop of 47.6 percent from last year, when 170 companies hit records.

During the same period, the Kospi index rose 3.96 percent.

“Even though the number of companies breaking the record has dropped compared to the previous year, there were many large companies included in the list this year,” said Shin Kwang-sun, a director at the Korea Exchange.

The Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), Samsung Electronics Preferred Shares, KT&G and LG Household & Health Care were some of the large companies that reached record-high stock prices this year.

The market capitalization of Samsung Electronics, along with its preferred shares, recorded 19 percent as of last Wednesday, accounting for 240.9 trillion won ($217.2 billion) out of 1,269.6 trillion won on the Kospi.

Kepco, the second-largest company by market capitalization, reached 63,000 won on May 30 and broke its previous all-time record.

By sector, chemicals and pharmaceuticals were strong this year. There were 16 companies in chemicals and 12 in pharmaceuticals that broke records in the Kospi market.

In the secondary Kosdaq, 182 out of 1,176 firms, or 15.5 percent of companies listed, recorded an all-time high this year. The 15.5 percent is some 9 percent lower compared to the previous year, when 200 firms broke the record.

Pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and the financial sector were very strong in the Kosdaq this year. Celltrion broke the record with 120,600 won on Feb. 4 this year.

Nearly 51 percent of firms listed on the Kospi and 59.1 percent of total companies listed on the Kosdaq saw their shares rise compared to the previous year.

Daiyang Metal rose the most on the Kospi, by 672.6 percent, and Hanp saw the biggest jump on the Kosdaq, by 1,398.4 percent.

Meanwhile, data released Monday by the Financial Supervisory Service showed that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Korea’s decision to deploy a U.S.-led missile defense system had limited impacts on local markets in July.

In July, foreign investors net purchased 4.1 trillion won in shares and net invested 0.6 trillion won in local bond markets, recording a total of 4.7 trillion won in net investment, according to the nation’s financial watchdog.

Investment rose significantly due to investors from Europe and the United States. Foreigners hold 29.8 percent of total shares listed on the markets, or 456.2 trillion won, as of the end of July, and those held by Americans accounted for 40.1 percent of the total owned by foreigners.

BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]

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