Korean IPO market gains traction in 2024 with Woojin Engineering’s strong debut

2024.01.25 13:28:02 | 2024.01.25 16:21:26

[Courtesy of Korea Exchange]이미지 확대

[Courtesy of Korea Exchange]

South Korea’s initial public offering (IPO) market is heating up, with shares of Woojin Engineering & Technology Inc. (Woojin Ntec), the first company to go public this year, quadrupling from the IPO price on Wednesday.

According to the Korea Exchange, Woojin Ntec, which specializes in nuclear power generation measurement and control equipment maintenance, saw its stock price soar to 21,200 won ($16) on Wednesday, up 300 percent from its IPO price of 5,300 won.

During the bookbuilding session held between January 8 and 15, a total of 2,049 institutional investors attended, recording a competition ratio of 1,263 to 1.

The offering price was set at 5,300 won, exceeding the upper end of the desired price range of between 4,300 and 4,900 won. During the public subscription period on January 16 and 17, the stock recorded a competition ratio of 2,707.18 to 1, the highest among companies that went public since 2023.

The subscription deposit amounted to 3.69 trillion won.

Analysts project that Woojin Ntec’s successful debut will likely lead to continued fervor in the IPO market this year.

After the Korea Exchange eased the price fluctuation limit on the listing day of new listings in June last year, KNS Co. saw its stock price quadruple in July. Shares of LS Materials Co. and DS Dansuk Co. hit their upper limits on the first trading day in the same month.

More IPOs are scheduled this month.

On Thursday, HB Investment Inc., the first-generation venture capital, will debut on the secondary Kosdaq market and on Friday, shipbuilding machinery company Hyundai Hyms Co. will be listed.

HB Investment received public subscriptions last week and the competition ratio was 892 to 1. Deposits amounted to 2.53 trillion won.

Nearly 2,000 institutions attended the bookbuilding session that was held in the week before, recording a competition ratio of 838 to 1.

Hyundai Hyms recorded a competition ratio of 1,231 to 1 when it received public subscriptions last week. The subscription deposit amounted to about 9.78 trillion won. Its competition ratio among institutions during the bookbuilding session was 680.82 to 1.

On January 29, POS and kiosk specialist Posbank Co. will make its debut and on February 1, shares of secondary battery safety parts specialist Inics Corp. will be listed.

Inics recorded a competition ratio of 1,997 to 1 during the two-day public subscription period, with subscription deposits totaling 10.49 trillion won.

Some industry insiders, however, are cautious about the overheating of the IPO market. Shinyoung Securities Co. Analyst Oh Gwang-young called for caution among investors, saying that there is still controversy over high valuations of certain stocks due to “excessive attention.”

By Oh Dae-seok and Chang Iou-chung

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