Foreign ownership of Korean stocks hits new high of $444bn

2017.03.14 17:01:12 | 2017.03.14 17:19:19
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Foreign ownership in Korean stocks hit a fresh record high of topping 510 trillion won ($443.6 billion) as of Monday after easing of political uncertainty following the Constitutional Court’s unanimous ruling to remove President Park Geun-hye.

The Kospi ended Tuesday up 0.8 percent, or 16.19 points, at 2,133.78, a fresh high of this year, on foreign buying.

According to the country’s securities exchange operator Korea Exchange (KRX) Tuesday, foreign investors net purchased 4.26 trillion won worth stocks of companies listed on the main bourse Kospi and secondary Kosdaq from the beginning of this year to March 13. Their buying stayed unfazed regardless of political unrest ahead of the impeachment ruling and heightened economic retaliations from Beijing over deployment of a U.S. antimissile system.

By bourse, net buying of Kospi-listed shares amounted to 4.1 trillion won and Kosdaq 94.6 billion won. In January alone, offshore investors shopped 1.5 trillion won worth of Korean securities, 442.0 billion won in February and 2.3 trillion won in the first eight days of March even after China heightened its retaliatory actions against Korea’s decision to deploy THAAD on its soil, a move that has added woes to Korean exports.

Foreign investors have been gobbling up Korean securities for almost a year since last February. Following their shopping spree for nine consecutive months since February last year, offshore investors net sold 40.1 billion won worth of Korean stocks in November but soon returned to net buying trend in the following months.

As of Monday’s closing, foreigners’ Korean stock ownership hit a record high of 510.7 trillion won, making up 32.56 percent of the total market capitalization and 35.76 percent in the Kospi alone.

So far this year, the country’s largest steelmaker Posco was the top foreign pick with their cumulative net purchase of over 500 billion won, followed by LG Electronics Inc. 409.3 billion won and Hyundai Motor Co. 402.3 billion won.

In contrast, foreign investors net sold shares in SK Hynix Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. the most over the same period, as much as 564.8 billion won and 422.5 billion won, respectively. However, in the first 13 days of this month, foreign investors picked up over 600 billion won worth shares of Samsung Electronics.

By Moon Il-ho

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]

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