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Top market cap firms expand presence amid IT, bio boom




The combined market cap value of South Korea’s 10 largest companies account for almost 45 percent of the entire market, as IT and bio companies gained popularity amid the continued COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Sunday.

According to the country’s bourse operator Korea Exchange, out of the 789 listed companies on the main bourse Kospi, the top 10 companies accounted for 44.7 percent in market cap as of Friday.

The figure was up 2.6 percentage point from Jan. 2 this year -- before Korea reported its first case of infection -- and up 8.9 percentage point from Jan. 2 last year.

Also, the combined market cap value of the top 15 companies stood at 51.4 percent, up 2.5 percent from Jan. 2 this year and exceeding the 50 percent mark for the first time in 10 years.

The market kingpin Samsung Electronics and runner-up SK hynix both saw their market cap percentage slip 0.4 percentage point from January to May. The remaining eight companies in the top 10 list, however, all marked a rise in the corresponding figure during the same period.

The appreciation of the top-tier businesses was largely attributed to the rise of IT and bio shares -- boosted by the non-face-to-face trend amid the epidemic crisis.

A leading example was Samsung BioLogics, which saw its market cap ranking climb from fourth to third in January-May and its market cap percentage notch up 1.1 percentage point during the same period. Celltrion also rose from seventh to fifth in ranking, while its market cap ratio escalated 0.6 percentage point.

But conventional manufacturers, including carmakers, mostly slipped down the list due to sluggish consumer demands.

The country’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor saw its market cap percentage slip 0.2 percentage point, which lowered its market ranking from fifth to 10th. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis marked a 0.3 percentage point fall and slipped out of the top 10 list. Steelmaker Posco also tumbled from ninth to 16th in market ranking.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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