SK Bioscience stock under downside pressure from imminent lockup release

2021.09.15 15:41:32 | 2021.09.15 15:43:18

[Photo provided by SK Bioscience]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by SK Bioscience]

Shares of SK Bioscience Co. stagnated after a vaccine-related boost could be weighed down by overhang issue upon institutional release of initial shares upon six-month lockup.

SK Bioscience finished Wednesday up 1.27 percent at 280,000 won ($239.01).

The stock price surged 59.14 percent in August, zooming from 197,000 won to 313,500 won to rank the bio stock No. 3 on the Kospi bourse in terms of market cap on expectations for its investigational Covid-19 vaccine GBP510. The vaccine unit under SK Group has recently kicked off a Phase 3 clinical trial of the country’s first homegrown coronavirus vaccine after getting a nod from the local drug authority.

The stock entered a correction this month, falling seven out of 10 trading days ahead of the expiry of six-month lockup on institutional holding in initial shares.

SK Bioscience jumped 326 percent from its IPO price of 65,000 won upon hot debut on the main Kospi bourse on Mar.18.

Institutions could cash in on their holdings totaling 3.94 million shares, accounting for 31.28 percent of the total shares held by institutions.

SK Bioscience has allotted a total of 12,622,500 IPO shares to institutional investors, of which 85.3 percent have been committed to a lockup, a much higher percentage compared to other listed companies which helped buoy the stock price. A lockup on 2.89 percent of the institutional holdings was freed 15 days after the listing, 24.71 percent after one month, and 26.39 percent after three months.

As Sept.18 is Saturday and immediately followed by the Chuseok holiday, the 3.49 million shares under lockup are freed from Sept. 23.

Another blockbuster IPOs Kakao Bank and Krafton had suffered a 20.04 percent and a 7.4 percent loss, respectively after its one-month lockup period expired last week.

The company’s largest shareholder SK Chemicals is also freed to unload 68.43 percent stake on the same day.

SK Chemicals has been advised to dispose of 18.3 percent stake in SK Bioscience from Singapore-based hedge fund Metrica Partners and shares the gains in special dividend with shareholders since it only needs a 50.1 percent stake to maintain management control.

A researcher at Kiwoom Securities presumed many could choose to hold onto the shares as the Phase 2 clinical trial of its vaccine will be completed in October.

By Pulse

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