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Kakao, Naver shares continue to surge amid prolonged virus battle

Shares of South Korea’s top mobile messenger operator Kakao and leading portal operator Naver continued their bullish run on the local stock market Thursday, on investors’ profit-taking drive from “untact” -- contactless -- sectors amid the spike in COVID-19 pandemic cases.

Kakao’s stock price began trading at 392,000 won ($330.38), then rose by 18,500 won, or 4.72 percent, to close at 410,500 won. It once soared up to 413,000 won in later trading hours, jumping above the 400,000 won-level for the first time since its market debut on the nation’s main bourse Kospi in July 2017.

Market watchers say that Kakao’s gaming arm’s September market debut on the nation’s tech-heavy Kosdaq appears to have excited investors with hopes for further price gain.

Shares of Naver closed at 337,000 won, up 3,000 won, or 0.90 percent, from the previous session’s close. The stock price once also touched its 52-week high of 347,000 won, in early morning. As its market capitalization rapidly increased, the firm’s ranking on Kospi climbed to No. 3, again beating the local biopharma company Samsung Biologics.

Both the untact shares have been on a bullish run for the fifth consecutive session. Based on their newest 52-week high, Kakao’s stock price climbed 13.31 percent from Aug. 20, when it closed at 364,500 won. Naver also advanced 13.58 percent from 305,500 won per share in the given period.

“On expectations of industrial shift (from manufacturing to IT) since the end-March, more investment funds have flowed to untact-related stocks,” Lee Jung-bin, an analyst at IBK Securities said.

Shares of Kakao and Naver will be less affected from market adjustments and have bigger room for further value growth, he added.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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