POSCO's market capitalization stood at 29.1 trillion won ($25.8 billion) as of Wednesday, ranking fourth among the top 30 companies listed on the local stock market and rising five notches from the end of last year, according to the data by the Korea Exchange.
POSCO trails the No. 1 automaker and third-biggest-cap Hyundai Motor Co. by only 500 billion won. Hyundai has been struggling amid a diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of an advanced US missile shield here.
POSCO has been on a roll this year on the back of improving earnings stemming from growing margins, brisk overseas demand, and cost-cutting and reorganization efforts.
Local brokerage companies forecast POSCO's operating income to reach the 4 trillion-won range this year should its restructuring efforts bear fruit. It would mark the largest operating income since the 5.7 trillion won recorded in 2011.
LG Chem, also the nation's top battery maker, saw its share price surge this year with its market cap coming to 28.8 trillion won as of Wednesday and ranking fifth, up nine slots from end-2016.
LG Chem's sold performance has been bolstered by low oil prices and expectations for rapid growth of the market for medium and large batteries.
Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group that was listed in November last year, saw its share price double with its market-cap ranking soaring to 14th from 28th.
Biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion Inc., which is traded on the secondary KOSDAQ market, posted a market value of 14.3 trillion won, ranking 21st.
Tech behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. had the largest market cap of 322.9 trillion won, accounting for 18.3 percent of the total market capitalization. Chip giant SK hynix Inc. trailed with 55.3 trillion won, according to the data. (Yonhap)