Park Geun-hye rises, Moon Jae-in falls in stock markets
By Kim Jae-won
The National Assembly elections are done, but the aftershocks shook the stock market Thursday reflecting the mixed fortunes of major politicians.
Share prices of companies related to Saenuri Party interim leader Park Geun-hye spiked as investors appreciated her role in lifting the troubled governing party out of trouble in just three months.
But listed companies close to Democratic United Party presidential hopeful Moon Jae-in saw their stock prices tumble as his power seems weaker than expected. Moon won a National Assembly seat in a Busan constituency, but failed to flex his muscles further in the southeastern port city as most of the other seats went to the Saenuri Party, a traditional powerhouse there.
Makers of baby care products enjoyed rising share prices on the nation’s lower bourse, the KOSDAQ, classified as Park-related due to the female politician’s strong drive for tackling the nation’s low birthrate. Park has vowed to solve the problem with a wide range of welfare policies for families with several children.
Boryung Medience, a leading baby care and nursing goods maker, saw its shares close at 17,850 won ($15.7), up 2,300 won, or 14.8 percent from the previous business day. Share prices of Agabang & Company, a baby clothing maker, also rose 14.9 percent to 13,100 won.
But, stock prices of so-called Moon-themed companies plunged. Wooridul Life Science, a medical device manufacturer, saw its share price down 15 percent to 1,760 won on Seoul’s main bourse, the KOSPI. Wooridul’s second-largest shareholder is Lee Sang-ho, a former family doctor of the late former President Roh Moo-hyun. Moon was a life-long aide of Roh and worked as chief secretary under the progressive government.
Share prices of AhnLab, a leading anti-virus software development company, rose 14.9 percent to 107,900 won. Experts say it is thanks to Ahn Cheol-soo, a Seoul National University professor, who founded the company and owns the majority stake in it. The medical doctor-turned-businessman, who many think would be a strong presidential candidate if he were to run, is expected to win more support in the opposition group due to Moon’s decline.