NETMARBLE ON A ROLL
Market value of about 14tril won surpasses that of LG Electronics
NETMARBLE Games Corp rose as investors pursuing a highgrowth alternative to traditional industry piled into South Korea’s biggest comingout party in seven years.
Shares in the mobile game developer and publisher climbed 3.8 per cent to 162,500 won (RM624.94) as of 10.53pm,here, after rising as high as 9.2 per cent above the initial public offering (IPO) price.
The company now has a market value of about 14 trillion won, surpassing LG Electronics Inc.
Founded in 2000 by highschool dropout Bang Jun-hyuk, Netmarble is a rare entrepreneurial success in a nation dominated by politically connected manufacturing conglomerates.
Betting smartphones would drive gaming, Bang built the company into one of Asia’s largest publishers of mobile titles such as Lineage 2 Revolution, and won backing from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd.
The company raised 2.66 trillion won in the country’s largest listing since 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Netmarble was priced at more than 70 times last year’s earnings, surpassing NCSoft Corp’s roughly 29 times and Nexon Co’s 45 times as of Thursday’s close.
Netmarble’s operating profit surged three-fold from 2014 to last year.
Bang owns 24.5 per cent of Netmarble, which at the IPO price conferred upon him a net worth of about US$3 billion (RM13.03 billion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Meanwhile, a Netmarble spokesman confirmed media reports that the country’s gaming regulator had barred anyone aged 18 and under from playing its mega-hit game “Lineage II: Revolution” until the company changes an in-game item trading system. Agencies
Netmarble staff celebrating the company’s listing on the Korea Stock Exchange yesterday.