YG Entertainment Co., which manages South Korean boy band Big Bang, more than doubled in its first day of stock trading in Seoul after individual investors demanded 561 times the amount of stock available in the company’s initial public offering.
Seoul-based YG, which also manages female quartet 2NE1, climbed to 78,200 won as of 9:51 a.m. on the Korea Exchange, compared with its IPO price of 34,000 won. The company is a constituent of South Korea’s junior Kosdaq Index (KOSDAQ), which fell 0.6 percent today.
YG had been aiming to copy the success of listed rivals S.M. Entertainment Co. (041510) and JYP Entertainment Corp., whose shares have tripled this year amid the increasing overseas popularity of Korean pop, or “K-pop.” Retail investors put 3.64 trillion won ($3.17 billion) in accounts with arrangers as key money for bids for the shares, the highest amount for any IPO on the Kosdaq market this year, lead arranger Daewoo Securities Co. said.
“Entertainment stocks are of hot interest among investors amid this K-pop boom,” Kwon Yoon Gu, an analyst at Dongbu Securities Co., said by phone. “The IPO prices look cheap, and I think the stock is set to gain especially given that the company is preparing to more actively tap the Japanese market.”
YG this month priced its IPO above a range offered to investors as K-pop’s popularity overshadowed a marijuana scandal involving Big Bang. YG raised 42.4 billion won selling almost 1.25 million shares. Institutional investors at home and overseas showed “strong” interest in the share sale, the company said at the time.
G-Dragon, the leader of Big Bang, whose off-stage name is Kwon Ji Yong, tested positive for marijuana use, YG said in a statement on Oct. 5. He accepted what he thought was a regular tobacco cigarette from a fan during a tour of Japan in May and took “two or three puffs” before throwing it in a toilet, the company said.
The scandal prompted YG to revise its prospectus in October to include potential risks related to the band. G-Dragon’s drug use could be a “constraint” for the band’s activities for a while as concerts may be delayed and revenue from commercials could fall, the company said at the time. Big Bang and its members accounted for more than half of the company’s total sales in 2010, YG said.
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