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KT’s new CEO meets with stock market experts amid stock price plunge

KT's new CEO Koo Hyun-mo (KT)
KT's new CEO Koo Hyun-mo (KT)

KT’s new CEO Koo Hyun-mo held closed-door meetings with stock market experts this week on the company’s future strategy following a plunge in share prices, industry sources said Friday.

The meetings on Tuesday and Thursday came after the South Korean telecommunications giant’s stock fell below the 20,000 won ($16) bar amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

KT’s stock sold for around 27,000 won at the end of 2019. But it failed to bounce back, even after the company chose its new CEO, largely due to the company’s sluggish performance last year and its massive 5G investment.

After the coronavirus outbreak started, KT’s stock prices fell further. On Thursday, it posted a 28.8 percent drop on-month to 17,800 won per share.

KT’s future investment plans also influenced the recent drop in its stock prices, experts say.

This year, KT is expected to continue injecting large amounts into the 5G sector. Koo could also push ahead with a merger and acquisition of a pay TV service here, as well as a capital increase if it becomes the largest shareholder of K bank, Korea’s first online-only bank.

Earlier this month, the National Assembly rejected a proposed bill to ease regulations for online-only banks, preventing KT from becoming the online-only bank’s largest shareholder. But there is a chance that KT might again seek special approval or might have an affiliate acquire the stock, the industry sources said.

Koo is to be officially appointed as the company’s new CEO at the shareholders meeting Friday, when he is expected to present his corporate vision and plans.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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