Overseas investors increase holdings

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Overseas investors increase holdings


Foreign investors have purchased the most shares in Korea’s top cosmetics manufacturer AmorePacific, parent company of Sulwhasoo, Etude House and Innisfree.

Foreigners have bought 951.6 billion won ($871 million) worth of AmorePacific’s shares on the Kospi, stock market operator Korea Exchange said on Monday.

Although foreign investors have been increasing their investments in the cosmetics company the share value of AmorePacific has fallen 4.7 percent compared to the end of last year largely due to shares dumped by institutional and retail investors.

Foreigners also favored SK Hynix, the second most popular with overseas investors, who bought 763.2 billion won in shares of the computer chip manufacturer. Korea Zinc and Web portal company Naver were also popular with foreign investors.

On the secondary Kosdaq foreign investors snapped up shares in pharmaceutical company Hugel, which amounted to 202.2 billion won in the last eight months.

Overseas investors’ stock purchases on the Korean market have been increasing to grow 10.3 percent or 43.2 trillion won compared to the end of last year. Foreign investors now own 464.1 trillion won worth of Korean stocks compared to 420.9 trillion won at the end of 2015.

As a result, foreign investors now account for 30.6 percent of the market capitalization, up 1.5 percentage points from 29.1 percent eight months earlier.

“Since net selling nearly 3 trillion won worth of stocks on the Kospi in January, foreign investors have become net buyers since,” said Shin Gwon-seon, KRX spokesman. “By month they purchase the largest number of shares [4.1 trillion won].”

While AmorePacific may have seen the biggest net purchase by foreign investors, milk producer Namyang Diary’s foreign investors own 92.6 percent of the company’s share.

The chemical sector attracted the most foreign investors in the first eight months as they bought 2.37 trillion won worth of stocks. They invested 2.3 trillion won in the service industry and 1.49 trillion won in steel and metal.

On the contrary, investors sold heavily in financial shares or 366.3 billion won worth followed by retail at 13 billion won and medicine and drugs at 96.4 billion won.

Foreign investors owned 49 percent of electric and electronic shares, up 3.46 percentage points since the end of last year. Telecommunication came in second among investors with 43.1 percent and logistics and transportation was third with 37.8 percent.

Precision medical, which includes advanced medical devices and related services, saw the biggest changes in foreign investors’ stock ownership. Foreigners now own 12.07 percent of such stock, up 4.55 percentage since the end of 2015.

Ownership in medicine and drug fell the sharpest. As of Aug. 10, foreign investors accounted for 11.12 percent of such shares, 1.55 percentage points smaller than 12.67 percent at the end of 2015.

BY LEE HO-JEONG, KANG BYOUNG-CHUL [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]
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