SEOUL, May 22 (Yonhap) — The market capitalization of Samsung Biologics Co. and internet giant Naver Corp. has jumped sharply on South Korea’s main stock market over a one-year period, despite the coronavirus impact on the equities markets, data showed Friday.
Samsung Biologics’ market cap stood at 40.3 trillion won (US$32.6 billion) at Thursday session’s close, up 111.24 percent from May 21 last year.’
Over the 12-month period, the bio company has risen to the third-largest market cap from the 12th largest. It now only trails market bellwethers Samsung Electronics and SK hynix.
Samsung Biologics won large-scale overseas contracts for possible treatments of COVID-19 since the respiratory illness’ first local infection on Jan. 20.
Samsung Biologics’ stock price shot up 16.82 percent on April 10 upon winning a 440 billion-won deal from U.S. drugmaker Vir Biotechnology Inc. The South Korean firm was outsourced to manufacture a drug candidate for treating COVID-19.
Also Friday, Samsung Biologics announced the signing of a US$231 million drug outsourcing deal with multinational pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
The market cap of Naver Corp. climbed 10 notches to fourth place, one spot behind Samsung Biologics. The internet service provider’s market cap came to 37 trillion won at Thursday’s close, up 95.8 percent from May 21 last year.
Despite the revenue fall in the coronavirus-hit advertisement market, the internet portal operator’s net profit surged 54 percent to 134.9 billion won in the January-March period, thanks to the rise of the remote market.
During the cited period, Naver’s platform business revenue increased by 12 percent on-year to 749.7 billion won, largely as consumers opted to use online shopping due to the coronavirus scare.
Similarly, sales for the IT platform business jumped 49.4 percent from a year ago, with a 58 percent on-year sales hike in online content, including webtoons.
“Naver’s balance sheet shows more than numeral gains,” Seong Jong-hwa, an analyst at eBEST Investment & Securities Co., said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a structural change in our economy.” (Reporting by Joo-won Chung)