Investment fund for POSCO firms debuts on Seoul stock market

SEOUL, A local investment fund focusing on affiliates of steel to rechargeable battery conglomerate POSCO Group made its debut on the South Korean stock market Tuesday, marking the first of its kind in the country.

Korea Investment Management Co. said it listed the exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the local bourse, which invests intensively in six POSCO affiliates, including POSCO Holdings, the group's holding company.

The EFT invests nearly 95 percent of its assets in POSCO units, with POSCO Holdings, the general trading arm POSCO International and the battery-component maker POSCO Future M accounting for about 74 percent.

It marks the first local ETF focusing on the POSCO Group. Currently, there are ETFs featuring such business groups as Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG and SK.

An ETF refers to an investment fund traded on stock exchanges and invests in a basket of stocks that track an index, or commodities and bonds.

At a press conference marking the ETF's debut, Korea Investment Management CEO Bae Jae-kyu said the company has gotten the fund listed on the local stock market at a crucial time, 19 years after it sold a group-focused fund for the first time in the country.

POSCO officials told reporters that the group has high growth potential in light of its shift to future growth sectors and will push to boost dividends for investors.

In a bid to find new revenue sources, POSCO, the world's fifth-largest steelmaker by output, has been ramping up efforts to break into next-generation growth engines, including rechargeable batteries.

POSCO Group has said it will raise the portion of its investment in the battery-component sector to 46.2 percent over the next three years, compared with 13.6 percent from 2016-18.

Market watchers said the debut comes as investor sentiment has been dampened by a recent correction in share prices of secondary battery makers, which had been soaring since April this year.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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