Korea’s Kakao Pay shares rebound after CEO, others step down amid stock options criticism

22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | Reuters | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Shares in South Korean financial services firm Kakao Pay Corp (377300.KS) jumped on Friday after the company said its CEO and two other executives were stepping down following a slump in the stock, amid fierce criticism of their exercising of stock options soon after the firm listed last November.

The shares surged as much as 11 percent on Friday, as the wider market (.KS11) slipped 1.2%, following the executives’ departure, announced late on Thursday.

The stock had tumbled 35 percent as of Thursday’s close since regulatory filings in early December showed about 90 billion won ($75 million) worth of stock options in Kakao Pay were exercised by the departing officials and others soon after the listing.

Analysts attributed the fall partly to the negative impact on investor confidence caused by stock option exercise, although the transactions were all legal. Shares in affiliate Kakao Bank (323410.KS) have also fallen since early December.

Kakao Pay said that among the eight executives that exercised stock options, five who will stay on at the firm at Kakao Pay, including incoming chief executive Shin Won-keun, will repurchase the shares they sold to strengthen responsible management.

($1 = 1,193.7600 won)



Category: Korea

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