SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- A corporate name change usually meant to raise brand image tends to bear little fruit when it comes to share prices, data showed Thursday.
A growing number of listed firms here have chosen a title shift in recent years.
Ninety-nine companies -- 19 on the main bourse KOSPI and 80 on the secondary KOSDAQ market -- changed their names last year, versus 68 in 2014 and 98 in 2015.
The average stock price of 94 firms, excluding delisted ones or those that changed names again, dropped 16.12 percent as of Wednesday compared with a trading day before their name switch, according to financial information provider FnGuide.
Only 17 companies, or 18.1 percent, posted hikes in their share prices, while 76 others, or 80.8 percent, suffered a decline.
Another company's stock price remained unchanged.
GMR Materials Co., mainly engaged in the metal material recycling business, saw its stock price on the KOSDAQ plunge 79.19 percent from 4,425 won (US$3.8) on April 20 last year to 887 won on Wednesday.
In contrast, that of Hanp Inc., a manufacturer of drums used for laser printers, soared 165.91 percent after a name change in February 2016.
Meanwhile, a survey by the Korea Securities Depository showed that 52.5 percent of the companies changed their names to improve their corporate image. Other reasons included mergers and business expansions.