The aggregate market capitalization of the 100 listed companies of the top 10 business groups in Korea fell by 173 trillion won during the three months since the end of last year.
The market value of these companies stood at 873.31 trillion won based on their closing stock prices on Dec. 30, 2019. But the figure fell to 700.27 trillion won based on their closing stock price on March 31, 2020, Fn Guide and Korea Exchange said on March 31.
By group, market value dropped 15.16 percent for Samsung, 17.09 percent for LG, 19.45 percent for Shinsegae, 20.86 percent for SK, 28.07 percent for GS, 29.69 percent for Lotte, 30.17 percent for POSCO, 33.78 percent for Hyundai Motor, 35.56 percent for Hanwha and 39.93 percent for Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Market cap gaps among the top 10 groups also widened. At the end of in 2019, the total market capitalization of the first-ranking Samsung Group hit 475,754.4 billion won, which accounted for 54.5 percent of the total of the top 10 business groups. The percentage climbed to 57.6 percent as Samsung’s market cap reached 403,609.5 billion won on the day. On the other hand, among the groups whose total market cap was less than 10 trillion won, Hanwha's proportion decreased from 1.1 percent to 0.9 percent as its market cap slid from 9,644.3 billion won to 6,214.5 billion won. Shinsegae market cap shrank from 8,791.4 billion won to 7,081.8 billion won, but its share remained at 1 percent.
SK Chemicals recorded the biggest market cap increase of 32.18 percent among listed companies of the top 10 business groups. SK Chemicals and SK Bioland with a market cap growth of 9.52 percent got a lot of attention from investors thanks to the vaccine business of their affiliates and sister companies in connection with the development of a treatment for the novel coronavirus. Amid spikes in stock prices of overall pharmaceutical and biotech companies, Samsung Biologics' market cap also increased 11.32 percent. But LG Chem relatively put up a good fight with a market cap decrease of 3.94 percent in an overall bear market.
However, market caps of listed companies in the machinery, distribution, construction, and automobile industries expected to significantly suffer from earnings deterioration due to the COVID-19 virus and low oil prices, have plunged. Hyundai Construction Equipment’s market cap dropped most sharply by 49.83 percent from 589.1 billion won to 295.5 billion won. Hyundai Construction Equipment was followed by Lotte Himart (-49.35 percent), LG Hello Vision (-49.18 percent), Samsung Engineering (-47.14 percent), Hyundai Wia (-46.62 percent). In addition, the market cap of Lotte Shopping which represents the Korean distribution industry and is the main publicly traded company of the Lotte Group, plummeted 44.65 percent from 3,833.1 billion to 2,121.7 billion won. SK Innovation (-42 percent), a major oil refinery, and Samsung Life Insurance (-42.28 percent) in the insurance industry also posted big drops in their market caps.