Seegene Inc., South Korea’s largest point-of-care diagnostic kit maker, is deliberating move to main bourse Kopsi from secondary Kosdaq to address to complaints from shareholders.
Seegene’s chief financial officer Kim Jung-yong told Maeil Business Newspaper on Sunday the company is internally reviewing the shift to boost stock price and recruit outside consultancy for the outline in the second half.
Seegene emerged as a star on the Kosdaq market last year on the back of upbeat sales of coronavirus test kits around the world and zoomed to No. 3 in terms of market capitalization. Operating profit came to 676.2 billion won ($600 million) over sales of 1.12 trillion won. But the stock price lost almost two thirds of its value after peaking at 322,200 won in August last year.
Seegene announced a share buyback program worth 30 billion won, introduction of quarterly dividend payment, and the potential move to Kospi. More recently, the company decided to give one free share to shareholders for every single one held.
As of Monday, Seegene remains ranked third on the Kosdaq market with a market cap of 4.62 trillion won following Celltrion Healthcare and Celltrion Pharm.
Kim said it is still cautious to talk about the exchange market transfer as it is subject to a regulatory review, but trading on the main bourse will be advantageous for Seegene shareholders in many ways.
Regarding the dividend payout, Kim said the company will implement its dividend policy to maximize shareholder value and shareholder return, adding this year’s dividend will surpass last year’s 1,500 won per share and a quarterly dividend payout could begin from the second quarter of this year.
No capital increase is considered at this point and the 30 billion share buyback plan will take place after May 20, when new shares are listed, he said,
Seegene mentioned non-organic growth to its mid- and long-term growth strategy during its shareholder’s meeting at the end of last year and recently hired an M&A executive. The company is seeking business acquisition to localize equipment, reagents and consumables and diversify its IVD business, Kim explained.
By Kang Bong-jin and Minu Kim
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