[THE INVESTOR] The upcoming initial public offering of Netmarble Games, Korea’s largest mobile game maker, is set to make the company founder Bang Jun-hyuk one of the top 10 stock-wealthy people in the country.
Bang holds a 30.59 percent stake in Netmarble, expected to be worth 2.6 trillion won (US$2.34 billion) when the firm goes public on May 12. The company estimates the issue price to be 157,000 won.
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The move will make Bang the sixth richest stockholder in Korea, behind SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won who held about 3.8 trillion won worth stocks as of April 19 and ahead of CJ Group Chairman Lee Jae-hyun with 2.3 trillion won.
Another gaming entrepreneur Kim Taek-jin, CEO of NCSoft, which has an 8.62 percent stake in the company is also likely to benefit from Netmarble’s IPO. Netmarble holds an 8 percent stake in NCSoft, and vice versa.
NCSoft's share price jumped to 359,000 won on April 19 from 236,500 won a year ago partly due to market expectations that the IPO will boost the stocks.
The value of NCsoft shares held by Kim, 11.98 percent of its stake, soared 51.5 percent from 621 billion won to 943.5 billion won as of April 19. He became the 24th richest stockholder in the top 100 stock rich list, climbing up from the 30th rank a year ago.
Meanwhile, the value of stocks held by the top 100 richest shareholders in Korea decreased by more than 3 trillion won between April 19, 2016, and April 19, 2017. The wealthiest 100 in terms of their stock assets were worth 100 trillion won in April 2016, but the total value shrank to 97 trillion won as of April 19 this year.
Stocks held by Seo Kyung-bae, CEO of Amorepacific Group, saw the biggest fall in value, declining 1.7 trillion won amid Korea’s row over THAAD with China. His stock assets stood at 7.8 trillion won as of April 19.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)