Overseas investors on a buying spree of South Korea’s largest steelmaker Posco since early this year are also eyeing on shares of Posco affiliates on expectations that the improving performance of Posco would boost earnings of its units.
According to the nation’s securities exchange operator Korea Exchange on Monday, foreigners have net bought 500.3 billion won ($435 million) worth Posco shares since the beginning of this year, helping its share price rise by 9.1 percent over the same period.
Despite its disappointing performance in the fourth quarter ended December last year, Posco shares has attracted offshore investors betting on the company’s ongoing restructuring and efforts to enhance non-steel operations such as rechargeable battery materials for new growth. Shares of Posco inched down by 0.36 percent to close at 280,000 won in Seoul trading.
Encouraged by the improving performance of Posco, market analysts have been also recommending buy for stocks of Posco affiliates whose sales heavily rely on Posco. On top of the list is Posco Daewoo Corp., which was renamed as such last year upon Posco’s acquisition of Daewoo International, a trading firm. The company in charge of Posco’s overseas trade and resource development business took over Posco P&S’s key businesses including steelmaking, retailing and steel processing earlier this month to unify the group’s steel distribution channels.
Posco ICT Co., the group’s information technology (IT) solution unit, has also been gaining traction as the group is stepping up its efforts in factory automation and cloud businesses amid the so-called fourth industrial revolution. The company set up a real-time monitoring system based on Internet of Things (IoT) technology at the group’s steel making complex in Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province in 2015.
Shares of Kosdaq-listed Posco Chemtech Co. have also gained 13.8 percent since the beginning of the year. Foreign investors’ stake in the firm rose 1 percentage point as they have net purchased its stocks worth 7.7 billion won over the cited period.
Shares of Posco Daewoo finished Tuesday at 23,550 won, up 1.07 percent from the previous session. Those of Kosdaq-listed Posco ICT remained unchanged at 6,360 won, while Posco Chemtech shares closed at 13,700 won, inching up by 0.37 percent in Seoul trading.
By Chung woo-sung
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