SK IE Technology closes 1st day of trading with chagrin

SEOUL– Battery materials maker SK IE Technology Co. (SKIET) made a disappointing market debut on the main bourse Tuesday despite the huge market interest shown in its subscription last week.

The subsidiary of refinery and battery firm SK Innovation Co. closed at 154,500 won (US$138), down 26.43 percent from its opening price of 210,000 won and lower than the previously expected daily ceiling of 273,000 won.

Its public offering price was 105,000 won per share.

The price fall set the company’s market capitalization at 11 trillion won, the 37th highest-valued company on the main Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI).
Liquidity remained high in the local stock market, with the KOSPI having closed the previous session at its all-time high. The stock index retreated 1.23 percent Tuesday, tracking an overnight tech plunge on Wall Street that stemmed from inflation worries.

In its two-day subscription period that ended April 29, SKIET drew a record 80.9 trillion won ($72.2 billion) in deposits from retail investors, reflecting huge investor interest.

The amount surpassed the previous record set by SK Bioscience Co., which drew 63.6 trillion won from retail investors for its initial public offering (IPO) in March.

Launched in 2019, SKIET supplies battery separators to major EV makers, including Tesla and Volkswagen, accounting for 26.5 percent of the global wet separator market.

Separators are one of the key components of EV batteries, as they are important in preventing batteries from exploding in the charging process and take up about 15-20 percent of battery production costs.

SK Innovation has a 62.10 percent stake in SKIET, and it plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to expand production, as the wet separator market is expected to face a supply crunch beginning in 2023 due to growing EV demand.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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