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Investors cry foul over Hybe's stock fall

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K-pop boy group BTS / Yonhap
K-pop boy group BTS / Yonhap

By Lee Min-hyung

Hybe, the nation's most valuable entertainment company, is mired in yet another controversy regarding possible information leakage over BTS' suspension of activities. The company's stock plummeted after the K-pop powerhouse shared its video in mid-June where it informed fans that it would temporarily stop group activity. The message left Hybe with a loss of more than 2 trillion won as the stock fell the following day.

However, the controversy is further tainting Hybe's corporate image, as it turned out that the video was filmed about three weeks before its upload date. Some investors are raising complaints that it was not proper for Hybe to share such key information via YouTube, adding that the time interval increased the chances of insider trading.

Even if no specific evidence has been found to back up the claim, investors are shifting part of the responsibility for the recent stock fall to Hybe.

Hybe shares nosedived by 24.87 percent on June 15, a day after the video was uploaded. The firm's stock price also fell sharply by 11 percent a day before the video was uploaded. Hybe closed at 139,500 won on Thursday. This is a massive drop from early April when its shares were traded at more than 300,000 won.

For this reason, investors have stepped up criticism of Hybe over what they call careless sharing of information on the part of the firm.

Even if Hybe does not violate any stock market rules here, the company is under fire for its latest decision, as it was reasonable to expect that Hybe shares would plunge if the global idol group were to announce an abrupt suspension of activities.

"It can be compared to Samsung Electronics announcing that it would stop selling semiconductors," a shareholder posted at an online forum of stock investors.

Lee Min-hyung

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