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New fund allows investors to back K-pop stars

K-pop fans can now buy shares in the companies behind stars like BTS and Blackpink via a new Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), launched in the US.

The KPOP and Korean Entertainment ETF launched on the NYSE Arca exchange yesterday (1 September) and includes the stocks of 30 corporations, including four music companies that helped K-pop stars achieve global fame.

HYBE (BTS, Tomorrow X Together, Enhypen), SM Entertainment (SuperM, NCT 127, Girls’ Generation), JYP Entertainment (Stray Kids, Twice) and YG Entertainment (BlackPink, Big Bang) are among the index of companies on the ETF.

An ETF — which can be bought and sold on-demand like individual stocks — allows US investors to buy foreign stocks on a domestic stock exchange.

In South Korea, K-pop fans and other retail investors could easily own shares of K-pop companies because they trade on South Korea exchanges but until now it was “almost impossible” for US fans to buy the individual stocks.

“Global fans who love K-pop [can now] participate in the potential growth and development of the K-pop industry”

Jangwon Lee, the CEO of CT Investments and Contents Technologies, the company behind the ETF, says: “K-pop, which has become a global keyword, has become part of mainstream culture for fans in Korea as well as around the world.

“We are launching this ETF to provide an opportunity for global fans who love K-pop to participate in the potential growth and development of the K-pop industry as well as investors access to Korea-listed companies that are driving the future of global content industry forward.”

Lee is also CEO of Seoul-based Beyond Music which is reportedly Asia’s largest single music IP asset management company and has raised $200 million to buy up rights in Asia.

The new ETF comes after HYBE  (formerly Big Hit Entertainment) reported its best-performing quarter yet in Q2 2022.

The South Korea-based entertainment giant has had huge success in the live music sphere, with record-breaking concerts from K-pop superstars BTS.

Most recently, BTS broke the global event cinema record after grossing $32.6 million (€29.8m) with the first live worldwide cinema broadcast of a concert from South Korea.

 


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