‘Squid Game’ popularity sends South Korean media stocks flying

One such company has almost doubled its market cap

The popularity of Netflix’s new hit South Korean TV series Squid Game has been a boon to stocks related to the red-hot media property.

The show, from director Hwang Dong-hyuk, premiered on September 17 and has since become the first South Korean series to top the US Netflix chart. It stars Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo and Wi Ha-jun, and follows 456 contestants who are invited to play a mysterious, high-stakes game for a cash prize of ₩45.6billion (roughly £2.8million).

Squid Game’s immense worldwide popularity has seemingly helped to propel at least two South Korean media stocks to new heights. The first is Bucket Studio Co, which owns a 15 per cent stake in Artist Company, the agency behind lead actor Lee Jung-jae. According to The Korea Herald, Bucket Studio Co has since doubled its market cap to ₩200billion.

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On the other hand, there’s also film production and distribution company Showbox, which saw its stock jump by more than 50 per cent from September 23 to 24, as noted by Bloomberg. Showbox had previously worked with Squid Game’s production company Siren Pictures, although it had no involvement in the TV series.

Smartkarma analyst Douglas Kim told Bloomberg that stocks of South Korean companies connected to TV and movie production are expected to “outperform” in the coming years, owing to the demand of the nation’s content.

“[These companies produce] highly popular dramas and movies that could pose a serious competitive threat to the Hollywood powerhouses,” Kim added. “Squid Game is a very good example of this.”

In other Squid Game news, breakout star Jung Ho-yeon has opened up about how she reacted when she first got the role and how she prepared for her part. “More than anything, I think I was able to accept [the character] Sae-byeok without any big difficulties because I am similar to her,” she said.

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