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Investment guru under probe for alleged stock price manipulation

All Headlines 13:55 February 03, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's prosecutors are investigating alleged stock price rigging involving a local investor, known for his stellar investment records on the secondary KOSDAQ market, sources at the financial industry said Friday.

The prosecutors are tracking the man, only identified as his surname Won, after securing an arrest warrant from a Seoul court.

He is suspected of having taken huge profits by manipulating the share price of Homecast Co., a set-top box maker listed on the KOSDAQ, in 2014 in collusion with a group of private moneylenders based in Myeongdong, a bustling district in the capital.

Won, who runs an investment company, is nicknamed "Midas Touch" in KOSDAQ investment circles for winning massive gains from a series of successful investments, especially in entertainment businesses.

The stock price of Homecast, founded in 2000, more than doubled in 2014 with the change of its major shareholder to H Bion, a bio-tech firm owned by Hwang Woo-suk, a stem cell researcher.

Won and his wife took more than 3 billion won (US$2.6 million) in gains from their investment in Homecast, according to the sources.

"This case features the big investor in the KOSDAQ market and five to six private moneylenders in Myeongdong," a financial industry official said.

A file photo of the KOSDAQ index (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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