Jinro, the biggest maker of soju liquor, rose on Monday, its first day of trading in Seoul, on optimism over its earnings outlook, raising expectations that more groups will be encouraged to go public.

The distiller is among the first South Korean companies to test the market for initial public offerings after a dearth of listings.

Later this week, Posco’s construction unit will price its IPO in what is set to be the country’s biggest listing since 2006.

Jinro’s IPO price of Won41,000 was lower than a marketed range of Won45,000 to Won50,000 due to damped enthusiasm after the market’s consolidation below recent advances.

But Jinro closed up 5.86 per cent to Won40,450 as analysts cited a “stable” cash flow, generous dividend, asset sales and synergies with parent Hite.

“In the defensive soju market, Jinro has long-held dominance and its market share is around 50 per cent-plus,” Credit Suisse said.

Jinro aims to raise annual sales 36 per cent to Won1,000bn ($850m) by 2015 from Won735.3bn last year and raise share to 60 per cent over the next six years.

The soju market grew from Won1,800bn in 2001 to Won2,900bn last year.

Jinro said it might buy back shares and pay half of net income in dividends.

With the Kospi up nearly 40 per cent since a March trough of 1,197.46, South Korean groups are returning for new equity listings.

Posco Engineering and Construction, the steelmaker’s building arm, is set to raise between $771m and $926m. It is offering 8.99m shares at Won100,000 to Won120,000 each.

The consolidation has forced SK C&C, the outsourcing unit of SK Group, to cut its November IPO by half to Won480bn.

Tong Yang Life Insurance priced its IPO at the bottom of its indicated range.

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