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SOCAR's IPO price set at 28,000 won, much lower than hoped, amid weak demand

All News 18:36 August 09, 2022

By Chung Joo-won

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's largest car-sharing platform operator SOCAR Inc. said Tuesday its initial public offering (IPO) price has been set at 28,000 won (US$21.44) per share, which is much lower than the price range it had hoped for amid apparently weak demand.

The price was determined after SOCAR conducted a two-day demand forecasting from domestic and foreign institutional investors that ended Friday. It was below the lower bound of its target price ranging from 34,000 won to 45,000 won.

Despite the disappointing price setting, the company decided to go ahead with the IPO slated for later this month. It is pushing to sell a total of 3.64 million new shares with a plan to raise 101.92 billion won.

Of the total new shares that it will offer, 910,000 shares, or 25 percent, will be sold to retail investors via subscription that will be held Wednesday and Thursday.

"In consideration of the investors' voice and opinion, we decided to offer our stocks in an investor-friendly manner," SOCAR chief executive Park Jae-wook said.

In this photo provided by SOCAR Inc., the car-sharing giant's CEO Park Jae-wook speaks to the press about the firm's IPO plan in Seoul on Aug. 3, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

There are concerns that the price band SOCAR had hoped for may have been overpriced, considering unfavorable market conditions, including investors' reduced appetite for risky assets. Global monetary tightening aimed at taming inflation has also weighed on the stock markets.

SOCAR has voiced confidence that it will successfully complete the planned IPO, citing its stellar performance in the car-sharing market in recent years.

With the proceeds from the IPO, SOCAR plans to increase its presence in the mobility market, expand investment in technology and buy promising mobility firms.

In a related move, the company plans within this year to launch a "super app" that combines the existing car-sharing services with "micromobility," such as electric bicycles, and platform-based parking services.

Also in the second half of this year, it will test-provide a large-scale vehicle management solution to leading logistics giants, such as Hyundai Glovis Co. and Lotte Global Logistics Co.


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