Capital Group, U.S.-based asset manager, has upped its stake in South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc. to 6.07 percent to become the third biggest single shareholder in the world’s second largest memory chipmaker.
The purchase comes amid growing expectations that the chipmaker’s parent company SK Telecom would soon be turned into an interim holding company in SK Group, a move expected to boost the value of SK Hynix once the transformation is completed.
SK Hynix announced in a disclosure on Nov. 6 that Capital Group raised its stake in the company from 5.05 percent to 6.07 percent in just four months since the California-based financial firm bumped up its ownership to 5.05 percent in late August.
On Tuesday, shares of SK Hynix fell 0.14 percent to close at 70,800 won.
SK Telecom is the largest shareholder of the chipmaker with a 20.07 percent stake, and the country’s biggest institutional investor National Pension Service (NPS) holds the second largest stake of 9.1 percent. Blackrock Inc., the world’s largest fund operator, owns 5.08 percent, the fourth largest holding.
Capital Group has made additional stock purchases in the world’s second biggest chip maker despite warnings of cyclical downturn in the global chip industry and contrary to its lowering of stake in the world’s biggest chip maker Samsung Electronics in September last year from 5 percent to 4.65 percent.
Capital Group’s investment is more likely to have been motivated by expectations on SK Group’s restructuring. The nation’s third largest conglomerate is said to be actively seeking to reform its ownership structure by turning SK Telecom into its interim holding entity.
SK Hynix. SK Telecom is expected to hike its stake in the chip maker during the transformation process, which has not officially taken place.
Founded in 1931 in Los Angeles, Capital Group is one of the global top seven asset managers with about $1.6 trillion assets under management. Other than SK Hynix, it holds more than 5 percent stake in some Kospi-listed firms including Hyundai Motor, Hana Financial Group and LG Uplus.
By Moon Il-ho and Choi Mira
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