Samsung Electronics now 57% foreign ownedForeign ownership of Samsung Electronics, Korea’s top company by market capitalization, has reached an 18-year high amid optimism about a recovery in the global chip business.
Foreign investors owned 57.33 percent of the world’s No. 1 memory chip and smartphone maker as of Tuesday, exceeding the previous record of 57.3 percent reached in March 2001, according to market data. Brushing off Samsung’s falling earnings, foreign investors have been loading up on the stock this year, with their net buying reaching 3.43 trillion won ($2.93 billion) as of Tuesday.
Foreign confidence in Samsung is seen as being bolstered by upbeat forecasts that the semiconductor industry will likely bottom out soon and start to recover down the road. Samsung suffered an earnings shock in the first quarter due largely to falling chip prices.
Samsung’s net profit nosedived 57 percent year on year to 5.04 trillion won in the January-March period, the lowest since the third quarter of 2016. The firm’s operating profit plunged 60.1 percent, to 6.2 trillion won, with the top line dipping 13.5 percent, to 52.4 trillion won.
But analysts recently released a series of reports that paint a rosy picture of Samsung’s outlook, saying the company is expected to bounce back from the third quarter thanks to a recovery in global chip demand.
Last week, Moody’s Investors Service forecast demand to rebound in the memory chip sector in the second half, when data centers finish inventory adjustments and seasonality turns more favorable.