SEOUL, Sept. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – Korea’s entertainment industry has been among the most affected by the government’s recent decision to deploy a THAAD battery, and it has resulted in losses of billions of won for stock-rich celebrities with large stakes in entertainment companies.
According to Chaebol.com, a market research firm, the total stock assets (as of closing price on September 9) of 18 Korean entertainment figures with over 100 million won ($90,212) worth of shares was 408.1 billion won, a decline from 608.5 billion won (down 32.9 percent) on January 4.
Lee Soo-man, the founder and chairman of SM Entertainment, led the list with current stock assets worth 125.62 billion won, a drop from 182.5 billion won (31.2 percent) earlier in the year.
Yang Hyun-suk, CEO of K-pop production giant YG Entertainment, suffered the biggest losses as he saw his shares plummet by 36.5 percent from 176.81 billion to 112.27 billion won.
Bae Yong-joon, founder of management agency KeyEast, which represents My Love from the Star actor Kim Soo-hyun, saw the value of his shares decline by 18.8 percent to 53.44 billion won, whereas FNC Entertainment CEO Han Seong-ho endured a 47.3 percent drop to 37.26 billion won.
The Korean entertainment industry’s heavy dependence on Chinese consumers played a major role in the stock market slide, according to Chaebol.com, despite official denials of economic retaliatory measures by China against Korea’s THAAD battery decision.
The stock price of SM Entertainment dropped by 25.5 percent, from 38,400 won to 28,600 won, since the THAAD deployment announcement on July 8, while YG Entertainment suffered similar losses with a 20 percent decline.
“Since Korea’s decision to deploy a THAAD battery on the peninsula, the Chinese entertainment industry is voluntarily restricting the presence of Korean celebrities on their media platforms such as TV shows, sensing the political tension between the two countries,” said a financial industry watcher.
“But because the trend is based on politics, and is not necessarily reflective of an anti-Korean sentiment, conditions will eventually improve. However, it’s still not the best of times for investment in the Korean entertainment sector.”
By Joseph Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)