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(LEAD) Hyundai heir apparent buys stocks to boost prices

Autos 15:43 March 24, 2020

(ATTN: CHANGES headline and lead; ADDS official's comment in 4th para; UPDATES stock prices in 6th para)

SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Group's heir apparent on Tuesday bought 9 billion won (US$7 million) worth of stocks in two key affiliates to prop up their share prices and show his commitment to their performance amid the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak.

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun purchased stocks in Hyundai Motor Co. and Hyundai Mobis Co., the company said in separate regulatory filings.

On Monday, Chung bought 19 billion won worth of stocks in the two affiliates to support their prices as their businesses have been hit hard by the growing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun (Yonhap)

Hyundai has temporarily suspended operations at its plants in the United States, India and Brazil due to the virus-caused supply disruptions and lower demand.

On Tuesday, Hyundai Motor jumped 8.6 percent to 74,800 won and Hyundai Mobis advanced 8.2 percent to 144,500 won helped by the share purchases. The broader KOSPI gained 8.6 percent.

The rebound comes after Hyundai Motor plunged 40 percent this month through Monday and 43 percent since January amid growing fears over the respiratory illness.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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