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(3rd LD) BTS agency listed amid fanfare on stock market

Stocks 21:50 October 15, 2020

(ATTN: CORRECTS details in para 9; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Oct. 15 (Yonhap) -- Big Hit Entertainment, the management agency of K-pop superstars BTS, debuted on South Korea's main bourse on Thursday, building a valuation higher than the country's next three largest entertainment companies combined.

Big Hit shares opened at 270,000 won (US$236) on Thursday on the Korea Exchange and jumped by the daily upper limit of 30 percent to 351,000 won three minutes after market opening.

The stocks closed at 258,000 won, down 4.4 percent from the starting price.
Still, the closing price is a sharp hike from the initial public offering price of 135,000 won.

The company's high initial price may have triggered a selling spree for profit-taking, analysts said.

"We will uphold the stockholder's value in various terms by raising profitability, growth potential and contributions to society," Big Hit Entertainment Chairman and CEO Bang Si-hyuk said at the listing ceremony, which was livestreamed on YouTube.

"We will spur efforts to become the world's best entertainment and lifestyle company," he added.

BTS members were not present at the ceremony.

This photo, captured from Big Hit Entertainment's live video channel, shows Chairman and CEO Bang Si-hyuk (L) and Korea Exchange (KRX) Chairman and CEO Jung Ji-won posing for photos at the K-pop entertainment giant's listing ceremony held at KRX's Seoul headquarters on Oct. 15, 2020. (Yonhap)

Based on Thursday's closing price, Big Hit's market cap stood at 8.73 trillion won, which is more than triple 2.78 trillion won, the combined market cap of South Korea's three major entertainment agencies -- S.M. Entertainment, YJ Entertainment and JYP Entertainment.

Bang holds a 34.7 percent stake in the company, worth 3.19 trillion won based on the closing price, making him the eighth-richest stockholder in South Korea, according to data compiled by industry tracker Chaebul.com.

BTS took home 123.5 billion won worth of stocks, or 17.6 billion won per member.

The ceremony marked the first initial public offering (IPO) celebration in about three months, due to the new coronavirus.

The agency has been called one of this year's three big IPO deals in South Korea, along with biopharmaceutical blue chip SK Biopharmaceuticals and mobile game giant Kakao Games.

Last year, the agency's annual sales almost doubled to 587.2 billion won, with an operating profit of 98.7 billion won.

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows K-pop boy band BTS appearing on the screen at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Oct. 14, 2020, after winning the Top Social Artist award at this year's Billboard Music Awards. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

jwc@yna.co.kr
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