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THE INVESTOR

Tech

Kakao shares soar on KOSPI listing plans

  • PUBLISHED :April 20, 2017 - 16:49
  • UPDATED :April 20, 2017 - 16:54
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[THE INVESTOR] Shares of Kakao, operator of immensely popular KakaoTalk mobile messenger, soared on April 20 following its disclosure of plans to relist on the main bourse KOSPI from tech-heavy KOSDAQ.

The share price closed at 90,800 won (US$79.79), up 4.13 percent from the previous day, but had an adverse impact on KOSDAQ which closed down 0.03 percent. 


Kakao Corp. founder Kim Beom-soo


“Listing on the KOSPI is one option we are considering but nothing has been fixed,” Kakao said in a statement following a news report earlier on the day that the company is seeking to relist for better valuation.

Kakao with a market capitalization of 6.1 trillion won is the second-largest listed firm on KOSDAQ next only to Celltrion, a leading biopharmaceutical company with valued at 11.1 trillion won.

The market cap would make Kakao the 43rd largest company on the main bourse, outpacing some big names such as LG Uplus, GS Holdings and Hyundai Engineering & Construction.

Analysts said the company’s KOSPI relisting could further boost its share price in the future.

“Its KOSPI listing will help Kakao gain more attention from overseas institutional investors and raise the share price,” Kim Dong-hee, an analyst at Meritz Securities, told The Investor, citing its archrival Naver’s departure from the tech-laden KOSDAQ in 2008.

Currently, Naver’s market cap amounts to 26.2 trillion won, almost triple the size of Kakao. Netmarble Games, the nation’s largest mobile game maker, has also chosen KOSPI for its stock debut in May.

Kakao made a backdoor listing on KOSDAQ in October 2014 when it was merged with Daum Communications. Its revenue and operating profit last year stood at 1.46 trillion won and 116 billion won, respectively.

By Park Ga-young (gypark@heraldcorp.com)

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