Jim Rogers joins board of Korean biotech firm NanoMedics after its graphene venture

2019.08.14 13:38:30 | 2019.08.14 16:02:12

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Shares of Kospi-listed NanoMedics Co. are on a roll after the biotech company added graphene business and invited legendary investor Jim Rogers onboard as an outside director.

The company’s shares zoomed as much as 29 percent to 11,500 won ($9.45) in the intraday trade on Tuesday after NanoMedics on the previous day named Jim Rogers and Lee Jung-hoon as outside directors to underscore its new graphene business focus. The appointments will be finalized after the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on Aug. 30.

Rogers, one of the world’s best-known investment gurus, is the second largest shareholder of Korean graphene producer Standard Graphene Inc. Lee is the president and CEO of Standard Graphene.

NanoMedics finished Tuesday 2.02 percent higher at 9,080 won on profit-taking but jumped 8.15 percent on Wednesday to close at 9,820 won.

The stock has skyrocketed from 3,000 won in May after the company ventured into graphene business. Graphene, single layer of graphite, is called as the new future material as it conducts electricity 100 times more effectively than copper and moves electrons 140 times faster than silicon, meaning it is good for fast-charging.

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NanoMedics has made an inroad into the graphene market through a partnership with Standard Graphene, which specializing in mass-producing graphene and graphene oxide. In July, the biotech company announced it was setting up a joint venture with Standard Graphene by investing 4 billion won to produce up to 4 tons of graphene annually.

Then it moved onto include Jim Rogers, a Standard Graphene shareholder, on board and also entitling him a stock option for 500,000 shares.

In contrast to its aggressive move into a new venture, NanoMedics has scored poorly on its mainstay business. The company logged an operating loss of 11.4 billion won last year, jumping from 500 million won loss in 2017. Its debt ratio had hovered around 50 percent until 2016 but it shot up to 137 percent as of the end of last year.

NanoMedics started as fire trucks and related products in 2003 but has transformed into a biotech company in 2017 by adding business for developing targeted nanoparticles for cancer therapy.

By Yoo Joon-ho and Cho Jeehyun

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