Hydrogen stocks gain heat in Korea amid accelerated hydrogen drive

2021.09.09 13:15:27 | 2021.09.09 15:54:20

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Hydrogen stocks are gaining heat after Korean household corporate names formed an alliance for initiative and leadership in achieving hydrogen economy.

Shares of Hyosung Advanced Materials Corp. closed Thursday up 1.97 percent at 674,000 won ($576.56) after closing the previous day at a record high of 661,000 won with 9-percent gain. Those of Kolon Industries Inc. finished 0.22 percent higher at 92,400 won, extending gains from the previous day’s close of 92,200 won, which was a 52-week high. The last time Kolon Industries stock traded above 90,000 won was in January 2018.

Other hydrogen stocks, like plastics and others in fuel cell value chain, took a breather on Thursday from previous day’s sharp gains. EcoPlastic Corp. shares that jumped by the daily upper limit of 30 percent on Wednesday retreated 20.13 percent to end Thursday at 4,345 won. Kolon Plastics Inc. shares closed 3.6 percent lower at 12,050 won, slowing down from the previous day’s 23.15 percent jump.

Doosan Fuel Cell Co. and UNID Co. have cooled off slightly from weeks of rally, finishing 0.38 percent lower at 52,000 won and 2.13 percent at 138,000 won, respectively, on Thursday.

Still, the outlook on the country’s hydrogen economy-related stocks look bright as world-wide hydrogen ecosystem is shaping rapidly in line with global drive to net zero carbon emissions.

Hyundai Motor Group announced Tuesday its hydrogen business strategy that will add hydrogen models to all its commercial car lineups by 2028. It also vowed to stop selling traditional gasoline cars in major markets from 2040 with a goal to completely migrate to fuel cell electric cars by 2045.

Separately, Hyundai Motor together with 14 other companies officially launched the Korean version of Hydrogen Council on Wednesday to groom the hydrogen ecosystem.

“Hyundai Motor has successfully showcased its leadership in hydrogen technology for big future beyond its mainstay automaking business and this would positively impact its stock,” said Song Seon-jae, senior analyst at Hana Financial Investment.

Hyundai Motor shares closed down 2.11 percent at 208,500 won on Thursday after inching up 0.24 percent in the previous day.

The H2 Mobility+Energy Show at the KINTEX convention center in Goyang, on Sep. 8, 2021. [Photo by Lee Chung-woo]이미지 확대

The H2 Mobility+Energy Show at the KINTEX convention center in Goyang, on Sep. 8, 2021. [Photo by Lee Chung-woo]

Hydrogen has emerged as the next big thing for investors, said Lee Hyo-seok, strategic investment team head at SK Securities. Lee picked Doosan Fuel Cell, Hyosung Advanced Materials, Hyosung Chemical Corp., Hyundai-Rotem CO., EM Korea Co., and Iljin Hysolus Co. as hot hydrogen stocks in Korea. Hyundai-Rotem runs a business for constructing hydrogen infrastructure, and EM Korea specializes in building a system for compressing and storing hydrogen.

Hyosung Advanced Materials, also picked as hot hydrogen stock by eBest Investment & Securities analyst Lee An-na, produces carbon fiber that is used across the hydrogen ecosystem, from pressure containers for recharging station to those used in fuel cell cars.

Kolon Industries along with Sang-A Frontec Co. and UNID were picked as stocks to pay close attention for investors.

Kolon Industries has a system established to mass produce polymer mass-produce polymer electrolyte membranes, a key material for fuel cells for hydrogen cars, and the stock is certainly undervalued, said Lee.

Hydrogen-themed exchange-traded fund are gaining steam.

KB KBSTAR Fn Hydrogen Economy ETF has topped 300 billion won in net assets, according to KB Asset Management on Wednesday. The ETF, launched in October last year, has Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai Steel, Hanwha Solution, and Hyundai Motor in its basket as of Tuesday, along with other stocks that are related to producing and using hydrogen fuel.

HANARO Electric & Hydrogen Vehicle ETF, another popular hydrogen-themed ETF launched in April, has added Kia, Hyundai Mobis, and Hyundai Motor as of Tuesday, to its investment basket comprised of stocks in battery and fuel cell electric cars, self-driving driving tech, and secondary battery.

KB KBSTAR Fn Hydrogen Economy ETF has yielded 2.96 percent and HANARO Electric & Hydrogen Vehicle ETF 1.89 percent in recent month, while the main Kospi retreated.

By Kang Bong-jin, Shin Hwa and Cho Jeehyun

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