[THE INVESTOR] Korean mobile game publishing giant Nemarble Games on Oct. 31 said it will buy back shares worth 200 billion won (US$175.58 million) in a bid to lift up its faltering stock price.
The firm’s board of directors has approved the purchase of 2.17 million shares by Jan. 30, in a move it said will “stabilize the stock price and promote shareholder values.”
The buyback will occur during market trading hours. Once it completes the purchase -- the first since its initial public offering in May -- its treasury stake will go up from 0.03 percent to 2.5 percent. The firm will keep the shares for at least six months.
The news lifted Netmarble shares to climb 16.01 percent to close at 106,500 won the previous day.
Netmarble made a grand stock debut, raising 2.66 trillion won last year, to become the second largest IPO here. But its share price, which peaked last December, has dipped by more than half this year. The decline is largely due to its delay in new game releases and growing uncertainties overseas, especially in China where the country has halted issuing new game licenses, industry watchers said.
Netmarble will officially launch its new mobile massive multiplayer online role-playing game “Blade & Soul Revolution” on Dec. 6, after a yearlong delay. It is pinning high hopes on the new MMORPG to boost earnings after the grand success of “Lineage 2 Revolution.”
Netmarble shares were trading at 110,500 won, up 3.76 percent, as of afternoon.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)