NET­MAR­BLE ON A ROLL

Mar­ket value of about 14tril won sur­passes that of LG Elec­tron­ics

New Straits Times - - Business / World -

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

AFP PIC

Net­mar­ble staff cel­e­brat­ing the com­pany’s list­ing on the Korea Stock Ex­change yes­ter­day.

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