SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Yonhap) — The market value of South Korea’s leading 100 firms has surged nearly 78 percent over the past five years amid a recent stock market rally, data showed Thursday.

Their combined market capitalization stood at 1,745 trillion won (US$1.61 trillion) as of Monday, up 77.5 percent from five years earlier, according to the data from market researcher CXO Institute.

The latest tally was also up 43.1 percent from a year earlier.

The total market value of the top 100 firms rose from 983 trillion won in 2016 to 1,075 won in 2017 and 1,375 trillion won in 2018 before declining to 1,094 trillion won a year later.

Global tech behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. remains the top-cap company in Asia’s fourth-largest economy with 495.5 trillion won, trailed by chip giant SK hynix Inc. with 91.7 trillion won and leading chemicals firm LG Chem Ltd. with 62.8 trillion won.

New entrants to the top 100 list include SK Biopharmaceuticals Co., Big Hit Entertainment, the management company of K-pop superstar BTS, and Kakao Games Corp. The three firms made a blockbuster debut on the local bourse last year.

Shinpoong Pharmaceutical Co. saw its market value shoot up 1,567 percent on-year to 6.5 trillion won this year, the highest on-year growth rate among the 100 firms, as its anti-malarial drug was in a clinical test as a treatment for COVID-19. Its market-cap ranking thus spiked to 46th this year from 417th in 2020.

Bolstered by strong individual buying, the South Korean stock market has been on a roll in recent months amid growing optimism over an economic recovery.