SEOUL — 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 7 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 a.m. local time (9:40 a.m. in Manila).
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 4 albums that hit number 1 stateside in less than 2 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
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