Korean investors are in love with Amazon

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Korean investors are in love with Amazon

Amazon is the most popular foreign stock among Korea’s high-rolling investors.

According to a study of clients with more than 100 million won ($89,078) in their brokerage accounts that Samsung Securities released on Thursday, the U.S. online retailer was in the top five overseas stocks purchased by clients every month this year so far and was No. 1 overall.

Amazon’s stock value rose 62.6 percent between Jan. 1 through Aug. 28.

The second-most-popular stock was Chinese retailer Alibaba, followed by Tesla and Tencent. In fifth place was Chinese biopharmaceutical company Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine, which is traded on the Shanghai stock exchange. Korean investors have been increasing their purchases of promising overseas stocks as the local market has stalled.

The top 20 overseas stocks that Samsung Securities’ clients purchased in the first eight months of this year rose by an average of 18.9 percent.

This exceeds the benchmark Kospi’s 7.8 percent decline compared to the beginning of the year. It’s also better than the 17.03 percent drop in Shanghai’s market or the 4.99 percent increase that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has seen so far this year. It’s even higher than the Nasdaq’s 14.6 percent increase.

Korean investors mostly purchased stocks from the U.S. market, which accounted for 59.9 percent of the total. It was followed by China at 33 percent, Japan with 4.1 percent and Vietnam at 2.6 percent.

More Koreans are actively participating in overseas stock trading thanks to easy online and mobile access. Of Korean investors with U.S. stocks, 50.8 percent of them traded online, compared to only 23.1 percent of investors in Japan and 19.3 percent of investors in Chinese stocks. This indicates that U.S. stocks are more popular among investors who are personally choosing their stocks rather than relying on brokers.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]
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