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3NOD 1st Foreign Firm to List Shares


3NOD Digital Group made a historic debut on the tech-heavy KOSDAQ Friday, becoming the first foreign company to list on the junior bourse.

3NOD, a Chinese digital audio manufacturer, has been seeking to go public on the Korean stock market since last year.

The firm went through an initial public offering (IPO) early this month with Shinyoung Securities as the underwriter after submitting a listing application to the Korea Exchange (KRX) in July.

It received over 1.2 trillion won worth of subscriptions for 12 million shares from investors, setting its IPO price at 2,500 won per share, which then traded 20 percent higher at 3,000 on the opening session.

3NOD shares rose 450 won, or 18 percent, to 3,450 won, despite the broader market’s downfall on rising subprime concerns.

Welcoming 3NOD as a neighbor in the equity market, CEO Lee Young-tak of the exchange said in a ceremony, ``We hope that its listing here will encourage more foreign companies to come for financing, and strengthen Korea’s IPO market and help boost the country’s goal of becoming a Northeast Asian financial hub.’’

3NOD, based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province in southern China, has some 600 branches throughout China with a sales network reaching about 30 countries, including the United States and Japan.

Its sales and net profit reached 45.2 billion won and 4.5 billion won last year, respectively. With equity capital of 2.6 billion won, the company is seeking to increase its sales to 82.8 billion won in 2008 and 122.6 billion won in 2009.

The KRX is aiming to have at least three foreign enterprises list their shares on the exchange by the end of this year, in an effort to become a global exchange like that of Asia’s Singapore and Hong Kong.

``We will make efforts to further internationalize our listing system and lower the cost of listing to increase the presence of foreign companies on the equity market,’’ said KRX.

Besides 3NOD, other Chinese firms such as Huafeng Textile, a textile and fabric maker based in Fujian Province, are preparing to go public in Korea’s equity market.

Huafeng Textile, which has been attracted to Seoul’s relatively high price-earnings ratio for the manufacturing industry, is expected to list its shares on the main bourse next month.


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