IPO market regains vigor on bullish KOSPI


By Lee Min-hyung

Frozen sentiment over the nation’s initial public offering (IPO) market is showing signs of thawing after recovery of the benchmark KOSPI.

The long-awaited shift was driven by a recent stock market rally. The main bourse hit 2,600 points on June 2 for the first time in almost a year. The secondary Kosdaq also jumped to a similar recovery path on reviving investors’ sentiment.

According to the financial industry, four companies plan to apply for a preliminary examination to the Korea Exchange for their KOSPI listing. Doosan Robotics is the first to do so. The Doosan affiliate is forecast to attain a post-IPO market capitalization of around 1 trillion won ($773.7 million).

Seoul Guarantee Insurance, a comprehensive guarantee insurance service provider, is also scheduled to submit the application on June 19. The company is valued as high as 3 trillion won after its planned listing.

All eyes are on whether other big firms ― which delayed their IPO due to last year’s stock doldrums ― will take a similar step. For instance, K bank may go public sometime in the latter half of 2023 on the reviving market sentiment and the firm’s earnings recovery, even if the company did not confirm details. As of Friday, the company is valued at 3.4 trillion won at an unlisted stock trading platform, Securities Plus Unlisted.

This is a surprising turn from a year earlier when the IPO market suffered a severe slowdown. According to data from the Financial Supervisory Service, a group of 70 companies completed their stock listing here in 2022, a drop of 21.3 percent from the previous year.

Market analysts said a noticeable change in the IPO trend is that more IT-converged companies are scheduled to go public this year.

“Last year, the focus of the IPO market was on manufacturing-driven mid-sized companies operating materials, components and equipment businesses,” Kim Soo-yeon, an analyst at Hanwha Investment & Securities, said. “But more companies, doing artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug development or extended reality businesses, are slated to go public this year.”