Kmedia accuse HYBE of insider trading as BTS’ informal ‘hiatus’ news wipes off $1.7B in stock value
June 14 is now a bittersweet date for ARMY as it is when the now infamous ‘2022 BTS Festa Dinner Party’ took place. To celebrate the debut anniversaries, BTS have a party on YouTube live with fans. Over the years, it has been a source of amusement and happiness as the members let go of all inhibitions and simply hang out while drinking and having dinner together. These Festa dinners are then live-streamed online for fans to enjoy. However, for their 9th debut anniversary, they dropped some bombshells that broke the internet.
While fans already had an inkling that something was coming to an end as their latest comeback was an anthology album and their lead single was titled ‘Yet To Come’, BTS almost proved the sleuths right. They shared that chapter 2 of their careers would focus on solo projects rather than group activities. This was misinterpreted by the media, as well as some fans, who thought that BTS was unofficially disbanding by going on hiatus. Their company HYBE’s stock prices immediately fell by a shocking amount of $1.7 billion.
BTS' 9-year journey: From an almost bankrupt K-pop label to global superstars
Is HYBE nothing without BTS? Stock prices fall drastically after group's hiatus news
BTS’ hiatus news affects HYBE
HYBE had to do some damage control by claiming that BTS was not going on hiatus and blaming mistranslation with the English subtitles. However, what the boys said during the Festa dinner does not change as there will be no group comebacks for the time being as the boys will be establishing their solo careers. The members also clearly stated that while they would always be together, BTS as a group would take a backseat for now.
Ever since, all eyes have been on the infamous BTS Festa dinner as Knetizens and fans have been combing through it for more details. There were all kinds of speculations from some wondering if Jin was married or living with someone to spoilers on their solo projects. But now Knetizens are noticing that the Festa dinner was not actually held live but pre-recorded before their White House attendance on May 31. Korean media outlet Joongang Ilbo tried to reach out and ask HYBE why BTS’ hiatus as a group - however temporary - was not officially announced but revealed in an informal manner, despite being planned weeks ago. To this, the company simply said, “It’s difficult to explain.”
Delayed announcement has Kmedia suspecting insider trading
With the ‘hiatus’ misinterpretation affecting the stock market, industry experts pointed out BTS’ influence on South Korea’s economy. A lot of K-pop companies’ stock prices fell days before the Festa dinner with a researcher claiming that, in hindsight, it could be because of insider trading. “But if private interests obtain such internal information and use it to avoid losses, then this activity is subject to punishment,” said a researcher at Korea Capital Markets Institute. Another analyst questioned why HYBE, a leading company approved by TIME and Forbes, had let an informal announcement affect the market and industry.
With the sudden drop in HYBE's stocks, the media assumed that the investors were not informed in advance of the hiatus. Even British newspaper The Times had questioned if it was fair to the stockholders to learn about BTS’ move that could affect HYBE’s stability through a YouTube video meant for fans. The Korea Stock Exchange has a guideline that claims that it is the company’s duty to inform these decisions to investors in advance. The rule is especially relevant in this case since BTS make up 70% of HYBE’s sales. Even Knetizens pointed out that it was natural to suspect HYBE of insider trading since it is common knowledge that BTS’ hiatus would adversely affect the company’s future.
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