Ironic upswing of baby care stocks amid low birthrate draws investors’ interest

A baby sits in a stroller during a baby fair at COEX in southern Seoul, Feb. 15. Yonhap

Shares of baby care product companies in Korea are on the upswing, or at least enjoying a buying spree of offshore investors, although the country’s birthrate is the lowest in the world. The surge comes as grandparents as well as uncles and aunts increase spending on their family’s only child, analysts said. According to the Korea Exchange, Agabang & Company gained more than 70 percent on the junior bourse Kosdsaq this year.A wholesaler of apparel, skin care products and a range of baby care items, Agabang & Company made such gains as Korea’s total fertility rate dipped to 0.72 in 2023. It broke its own record for the world’s lowest total fertility rate, which has been declining since 2015 when the figure came to 1.24. The rate fell to 0.92 in 2019, 0.84 in 2020, 0.81 in 2021 and 0.78 in 2022.

Agabang & Company also advanced 5.91 percent to close at 6,450 won ($4.80) on Thursday, a day after Statistics Korea announced that the country’s quarterly total fertility rate slipped to a historic low of 0.65 in the October-to-December period in 2023. Under the circumstances, a Yuanta Securities analyst explained that the upward trajectory of Agabang & Company is associated with consumer spending characterized as “10 pockets. “The term stems from members of a family, including parents, grandparents, as well as uncles and aunts, who number around 10 combined. They are noted for their generous spending on a baby, who often tends to be their family’s only child .”At first sight, it may appear that a shrinking number of babies may result in a dwindling baby care industry,” the analyst said. “But in fact, it makes children scarce and special, thus prompting their families to spend more on relevant goods as a way to show their love .”He pointed out that online transactions for baby care products were worth 5.23 trillion won in 2022, up 0.7 percent from the previous year. During the cited period, childbirths dropped to 230,000 from 249,186.

Luxury goods for children are also seeing sales surge. According to Shinsegae Department Store, which opened the Baby Dior gift shop, the total sales of imported goods for children at Shinsegae increased 15 percent last year. Lotte Department Store also saw sales of luxury kids brands such as Fendi Kids and Givency Kids surge 10 percent last year .Not all baby care product firms are advancing on the stock market. Nevertheless, they are receiving foreign investors’ attention, which, according to industry sources, hints at targeted firms’ growth potential. One of the firms was Zero to Seven, whose stocks were purchased by overseas investors for the 10th consecutive day as of Thursday. The buying spree came despite the company’s operating profit plummeting 75.1 percent year-on-year to 230 million won in 2023.The company has been hovering in the upper 6,000 won range this year on the Kosdaq. Ggumbi, also a Kosdaq-listed firm, remains on foreign investors’ watch list after it 카지노사이트 went public in 2023. It advanced 2.01 percent to close at 10,130 won on Thursday.

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