SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s initial public offering (IPO) market grew more than 40 percent in 2020 from a year earlier on stock sales by big-name firms, data showed Thursday.

IPO proceeds stood at 4.5 trillion won (US$4.07 billion) last year, up 40.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

Yet the number of companies that sold new shares last year decreased to 70 from 73 the previous year.

The FSS attributed the spike in IPO proceeds to stock market debuts by such corporate giants as Big Hit Entertainment, the management company of K-pop superstar BTS, SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. and Kakao Games Corp.

In October, Big Hit Entertainment made a high-profile market debut following a blockbuster IPO by SK Biopharmaceuticals, the biopharmaceutical arm of SK Group, three months earlier.