3nod.jpgChina's Shenzhen 3NOD Electronics, which makes speaker systems and other audio products, has become the first foreign company to complete an IPO on the Korea stock exchange (KRX).

According to Shenzhen-based 3NOD, the IPO represents a big step in the company's plan to expand into the international market.

Previously, foreign companies were not allowed to public in Korea, but the Asian giant has woken up to the disadvantages of such isolation in a globalised world, particularly for strategic sectors such as consumer electronics, where Korea's industry can no longer ignore the opportunities — and threats — posed by China's spectacular growth.

The company argues that Chinese and Korean companies complement each other, as Korean hi-tech companies possess advanced technology but high manufacturing costs, while Chinese counterparts possess mature manufacturing skills and a large market. The company IPO will also help bring 3NOD closer to both Korea and global hi-tech enterprises.

The company's recent IPO represents a milestone for the KRX, in its aim to become a global exchange, like Hong Kong or Singapore, through attracting more foreign companies. Besides 3NOD, other Chinese firms such as Huafeng Textile, a textile and fabric maker based in Fujian province, are preparing IPOs in Korea.

3NOD was established in 1996 and specialises in the design, development and manufacture of multimedia audio and video products and other related equipment. In 2006, 3NOD had operating revenues of $48m.

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