S Korean Internet Shares Rally on Hopes President Elect’s Policies Will Be Less Restrictive

By Kwanwoo Jun

South Korean internet-group shares rallied Thursday on hopes that President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, a pro-business opposition conservative, may adopt a less restrictive policy on the industry.

Shares in internet giants Naver Corp. and Kakao Corp. jumped as much as 11% to 333,000 won and 7.8% to KRW99,330, respectively, in early trade, snapping their three-session losing streak. The Kospi stock benchmark was 2.0% higher.

The March 9 election of Mr. Yoon, had supported an easing of state crackdowns and more self-regulation for the platform industry during his election campaign, helped boost those internet stocks, said a Kyobo Securities analyst.

Local internet business conglomerates have been pressured by President Moon Jae-in government’s campaign to counter their alleged abuse of their online-platform dominance.

The Moon administration is seeking to enact a new and tougher anti-trust bill on large platform companies to level the playing field.

Mr. Yoon is scheduled to replace President Moon when his term ends in May.

Write to Kwanwoo Jun at [email protected]

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