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THE INVESTOR
June 13, 2021

Market Now

Coupang’s stellar NYSE debut hoists related stocks in Korea

  • PUBLISHED :March 14, 2021 - 13:25
  • UPDATED :March 14, 2021 - 13:25
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Coupang CEO Kim Bom-suk (third from left) and NYSE Vice Chairman John Tuttle (second from right) celebrate the company’s market debut on the New York Stock Exchange on March 11 (Eastern Standard Time). (Coupang)

The landmark debut of Coupang Inc., the parent company of South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Corp., gave a boost to stocks that have business ties with the firm here on March 12.

Following its strong first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange on March 11, related firms enjoyed a ripple effect as their shares surged.

KEC Holdings, a company that offers business management and consulting services, saw its shares spike by the daily permissible limit of 29.96 percent to reach 1,735 won ($1.53) at the closing bell. It also marked a 52-week high after gaining for a second consecutive session on the nation’s main bourse, the Kospi.

Seoul Food Industrial jumped 11.29 percent to close at 493 won. It marked a 52-week high of 546 won during the trading. The firm supplies baked goods and snacks, such as pizzas and cookies, to Coupang. Another Kospi-listed stock, ESR Kendall Square, the country’s first real estate investment trust dedicated to logistics facilities, rose 0.52 percent to reach 5,840 won.

KCTC surged 19.02 percent to 10,950 won in the early morning trade but traded lower in the afternoon, plunging 10.43 percent at the closing. Shares of mobile payment service provider Danal and media content platform company KTH also began strong but lost 3.95 percent and 3.53 percent, respectively. Dongbang turned bearish to mark 9,010 won, retreating 9.81 percent at the closing.

Backed by Coupang’s rosy business growth, market watchers and investors became optimistic about local online retailers’ future as well. As they reevaluated the companies, shares of Naver and E-mart advanced 1.87 percent and 0.56 percent to 380,500 won and 178,500 won, respectively.

Coupang made a stellar debut on Wall Street at an initial public offering price of $35 per share, higher than the earlier targeted price range of $32 to $34. As soon as the opening bell rang, the shares began trading at $63.50, up 81.4 percent from the IPO price. The value reached $69 per share at one point, but the shares ended their first day of trading at $49.25 apiece.

While the Delaware-based firm raised $4.55 billion by offering 130 million shares through the IPO, its market valuation increased from the previous estimation of $63 billion to around $88.65 billion after its first closing. Its market has grown in size, approaching that of the Kospi’s second-most-valuable stock, SK hynix, while the No. 2 chipmaker’s market value stood at 101.92 trillion won.

Major investors including Coupang CEO Kim Bom-suk hit the jackpot with the firm’s NYSE listing.

SoftBank’s venture capital firm SoftBank Vision Fund Investments, led by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, is Coupang’s biggest shareholder, holding a 33.1 percent stake. SoftBank Vision Fund Investments’ equity in the company is valued at $28 billion, more than nine times the value of its previous investments. Kim, who owns a 10.2 percent stake in the firm, now has equity worth about $8.57 billion.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)

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