Notice from secretary’s office

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Bloomberg

Crypto Slide, game slowdown wipes billions of Tycoon’s fortune

(Bloomberg) – Kim Jung-ju, the billionaire behind Nexon Co., is having a hectic month. Shares of the Tokyo-listed games company have plunged 21% since forecasting a decline in profits on May 12, suggesting its strong performance when the pandemic has kept people inside will not be sustained over time. that some countries will reopen. This wiped out about $ 1.9 billion from the South Korean entrepreneur’s net worth, reducing his fortune to $ 8.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. On top of that, Kim’s diversification away from the game into areas such as cryptocurrency faces hurdles. Bitcoin has fallen nearly 38% since it hit an all-time high in April, a stark example of virtual coin price swings that have left some mainstream investors skeptical. Kim, 53, has been a strong supporter of digital currencies and has acquired cryptocurrency exchanges in recent years. Nexon also bought $ 100 million worth of Bitcoin last month. “It had to come down,” Matthew Kanterman, analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said of Nexon’s earnings forecast. “Last year was a high base and they’re not going to replicate that,” he said. On Bitcoin, “companies don’t like to buy stuff with too much volatility,” he said, suggesting Nexon is unlikely to add to his purchase just yet. Crypto Investments Even before Nexon bought Bitcoin, the holding company of Kim NXC Corp., which owns nearly half of Nexon, bought out 65% of Korbit Inc., a crypto exchange in South Korea, in 2017. The following year, NXC’s subsidiary in Europe acquired another cryptocurrency exchange: the book value of Luxembourg-based Bitstamp.Korbit plunged to around 3.1 billion won ($ 2.8 million ) at the end of last year, up from around 96 billion won at the end of 2017, according to NXC’s financial statements for 2017 and 2020. A spokesperson for NXC said there were no plans to sell the exchanges he bought. Kim was also excited to acquire Bithumb, one of South Korea’s largest virtual currency exchange offices, according to local media earlier this year. The NXC spokesperson declined to comment. Kim declined to be interviewed for this story. Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon, was not available for comment. The company highlighted Mahoney’s Medium’s April post about buying Bitcoin. Nexon sees Bitcoin as a form of cash that can hold its value, he said. The purchase of Bitcoin represents less than 2% of the company’s cash and cash equivalents. “The technology underlying BTC and other cryptocurrencies is starting to seep into many areas of daily use, such as payments, digital collectibles and other areas that are increasingly emerging. more relevant to businesses like ours, “Mahoney wrote. Embracing Crypto Other big names in the gaming industry have also embraced cryptocurrencies and associated blockchain technologies. Kakao Games Corp., a subsidiary of South Korea’s most popular mobile messaging operator, Kakao Corp., added to its stakes in blockchain technology company Way2Bit Co. last year, becoming the largest shareholder. Mobile game publisher Gamevil Inc . invested last month in the crypto exchange Coinone Inc. “As funding and payment systems are very important in games, developers are thinking about ways to integrate blockchain technology to improve it. they now have, “said Lee Seung-hoon, an analyst at IBK Securities Co. in Seoul. “Their investments are more like R&D efforts at this point.” Square Enix Holdings Co., the Japanese publisher of popular role-playing games such as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, was among the investors who injected $ 2 million in cash and cryptocurrency into Ethereum. “Games using blockchain are no longer in their infancy and are gradually gaining a larger presence,” Yosuke Matsuda, the president of the Japanese company, said in a New Year. letter last year. Kim founded Nexon in South Korea in 1994 after majoring in computer science and engineering at Seoul National University. In 2011, Nexon was listed in Japan. Two years ago, he considered selling his stake in the company, owned through NXC, sparking discussions with major players including Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Hillhouse Capital. He abandoned the plan when he couldn’t find a suitable buyer, according to local media. Nexon, famous for blockbuster titles such as MapleStory and KartRider, posted net income attributable to owners of its parent company of 69.7 billion yen ($ 639 million) in the first six months of 2020 closings causing people to spend more time at home. For the same period this year, he forecasts a range of 55 billion yen to 58.3 billion yen. The high end would represent a drop of 16% compared to last year. Kim said in a rare interview with South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo in 2012 that worrying about keeping up with new technological trends can even disrupt her sleep. “To survive, I have to come to terms with new things,” Kim said. More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted source of business news. © 2021 Bloomberg LP

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