(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 03, 2022 South Korean boy band BTS performs onstage during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)
SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Shares in the management agency of the K-pop supergroup BTS plummeted Wednesday in early trading in Seoul after the band announced they were taking an indefinite break.
The seven members, credited with generating billions of dollars for the South Korean economy, dropped the bombshell during their streamed “FESTA” dinner, part of a celebration that marks their anniversary as a group.
The news sent shares of the band’s label HYBE tumbling — it was down about 27 percent as of 10:40 am local time (0140 GMT).
The stock — down nearly 60 percent so far this year — was headed for its lowest close on record since its trading debut in October 2020, wiping $1.6 billion off its market value, Bloomberg News reported.
The group cited the pressures of fame and success in explaining the break, and said they planned to focus on solo pursuits.
BTS’s label enjoyed a surge in profits despite the group staging fewer concerts during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The septet is the first all-South Korean act to reign over Billboard’s US top singles chart, a milestone they achieved with “Dynamite” — the first BTS song performed completely in English.
They are also one of few acts since The Beatles to release four albums that hit number one stateside in less than two years.
The group has twice been nominated for a Grammy but has yet to win.
BTS recently made headlines for visiting the White House to deliver a message to US President Joe Biden on the fight against anti-Asian racism.
BTS has said they were going on short breaks before, first in 2019 and later in December 2021.
© Agence France-Presse