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    A005380   KR7005380001

HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY

(A005380)
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South Korean boy investor with 43% gains is new retail trading icon

02/09/2021 | 08:43pm EDT
Kwon Joon plays with his younger sister in Jeju

SEOUL (Reuters) - Watching the business news first thing is a new routine for 12-year-old South Korean Kwon Joon, as he dreams of becoming the next Warren Buffett after earning stellar returns of 43% from a hobby picked up just last year: buying stocks.

Kwon pestered his mother to open a retail trading account last April with savings of 25 million won ($22,400) as seed money, just as the benchmark KOSPI index began recovering from its biggest dip in a decade.

"I really talked my parents into it, because I believed an expert who was saying (on TV) that this is a once-in-a-decade opportunity," said Kwon, who rode the steepest jump by year-end among MSCI's country indexes..

"My role model is Warren Buffett," he added, in a reference to the U.S. billionaire investor.

"Rather than short-term focused day trading, I want to keep my investment for 10 to 20 years with a long-term perspective, hopefully to maximize my returns."

South Korea's rookie investors like Kwon, who pursues "value investing" in blue chip shares with funds garnered from gifts, trading mini-car toys and running vending machines, have led the blistering rise of retail trade amid the coronavirus pandemic.

More retail investors are teenagers or even younger, making up more than two-thirds of the total value traded in the nation's shares, versus less than 50% in 2019.

The trend has grown as equity markets lure parents disillusioned with the education system and millennials working from home.

"I wonder, in this day and age, whether a college degree would be all that important," said Kwon's mother, Lee Eun-joo, who fuelled his passion by looking to expose him to business rather than tuition, seen as key to getting ahead in academics.

"Because we live in a different world now, it could be better to become an 'only-one' kind of person," added Lee, who feared even a good schooling might not arm her son against dwindling job opportunities.

About 70% of the 214,800 stock brokerage accounts for minors at Kiwoom Securities, South Korea's most retail-friendly brokerage, with a market share of more than a fifth, were set up in January 2020 or after, its data shows.

Kwon, with time on his hands during last year's school closures for the pandemic, drew up a wish list of purchases, which he made during market corrections.

These ranged from South Korea's largest messenger app operator Kakao Corp., to the world's biggest memory chip maker Samsung Electronics Co., and Hyundai Motor.

Kwon's success also reflects the employment challenges for young South Koreans, despite being among the most highly educated cohort in the OECD club of advanced nations.

Data on Wednesday showed the unemployment rate for young Koreans aged between 15 and 29 jumped to a fresh record of 27.2% in January, as jobs were vanishing at the fastest pace in two decades amid curbs to contain the coronavirus.

Three-quarters go on to college after high school, versus the grouping's 44.5% average, but finding rewarding, creative work is tough. "There aren't enough jobs for college graduates, so many are opting out to diversify their career path early," said vocational researcher Min Sook-weon.

That is something Kwon understands.

"Rather than going to good schools like the Seoul National University, I'd rather become a big investor," he said. "I also hope to do a lot of charity work."

($1=1,115.1600 won)

(Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Additional reporting by Minwoo Park; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

By Cynthia Kim


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC. -0.42% 418900 Delayed Quote.20.44%
HYUNDAI CORPORATION -1.26% 19600 End-of-day quote.22.88%
HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY -1.80% 218000 End-of-day quote.13.54%
KAKAO CORP. -1.01% 147000 End-of-day quote.88.70%
KIWOOM SECURITIES CO., LTD. -1.26% 118000 End-of-day quote.-6.72%
KOSPI COMPOSITE INDEX -1.12% 3205.2 Real-time Quote.12.93%
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. -0.63% 78500 End-of-day quote.-3.09%
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Financials
Sales 2021 118 276 B 103 B 103 B
Net income 2021 6 171 B 5,36 B 5,36 B
Net Debt 2021 69 470 B 60,3 B 60,3 B
P/E ratio 2021 8,84x
Yield 2021 1,82%
Capitalization 46 156 B 40 067 M 40 063 M
EV / Sales 2021 0,98x
EV / Sales 2022 0,90x
Nbr of Employees 70 388
Free-Float 70,8%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 31
Last Close Price 218 000,00 KRW
Average target price 308 700,00 KRW
Spread / Average Target 41,6%
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Managers and Directors
Eui-Sun Chung Vice Chairman & Co-Chief Executive Officer
Chang Jae-hoon Co-President & Co-Chief Executive Officer
Albert Biermann Co-President & Director
Eon-Tae Ha Co-President & Director
Moon-Sik Kwon Vice Chairman-Executive Board, Head-R&D
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