Foreigners sold off 2.5T won in Korean stocks in September: FSS report

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Foreigners sold off 2.5T won in Korean stocks in September: FSS report

People walk under screens at the Korea Exchange in Yeouido, western Seoul on Oct. 7. [ASSOCIATED PRESS]

People walk under screens at the Korea Exchange in Yeouido, western Seoul on Oct. 7. [ASSOCIATED PRESS]

 
Foreign investors in September extended a two-month selling spree in the Korean stock market, according to a report issued by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Monday.  
 
Foreigners sold a net 2.5 trillion won ($2.2 billion) worth of stocks last month, a 178.5 percent on-year increase compared to the net amount sold in the same month last year.   
 
“International investors offloaded shares in a bid to manage possible risk factors from the coronavirus pandemic,” explained an official from the FSS. 
 
Investors from Singapore were far and away the most aggressive sellers, offloading a total of 4.3 trillion won in stocks. Switzerland came in second place selling off a net 0.3 trillion won.
 
In terms of net purchases, investors from Luxembourg scooped up the most, buying 0.61 trillion won. American investors purchased a net 0.4 trillion won of local stocks. The third-largest buyers were from Germany, who took in a net 0.26 trillion won.  
 
The total value of shares held by offshore investors was 598.4 trillion won as of the end of September, up 1.6 percent from a month earlier and accounting for 30.3 percent of Korea’s market capitalization.
 
By countries, U.S. investors held the largest value in Korean shares, at 249.8 trillion won, or 41.8 percent of the total held by international investors. The second and third largest investors were Britain and Luxembourg, accounting for 7.6 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.  
 
International investors sold a total of 31 billion won in bonds, snapping an eight-month buying spree. This comes as a historic record of 8.4 trillion-won bonds reached maturity last month.  
 
Short-term bonds with maturities less than one year were sold the most last month, accounting for 4.4 trillion won, followed by 2.3 trillion won in monetary stabilization. 
 
The bond holdings by foreign investors hit 151 trillion won, or 7.5 percent of the total in September, according to the data. Of that, 80.1 percent of the holdings, or 120.9 trillion won, was in government bonds.  
 
Short-term bonds, with maturities from one to five years, accounted for 55.2 trillion won of the total, or 36.6 percent. A total of 50.1 trillion won, or 33.2 percent, was in bonds with maturities less than one year and 45.6 trillion won, or 30.2 percent, was in long-term bonds with maturities longer than five years.
 
Investors from Asia held the largest amount of bonds, worth 70.7 trillion won, or 46.8 percent the total, followed by Europe's 31 percent and the United States' 7.9 percent.  
 
BY KANG JAE-EUN   [kang.jaeeun@joongang.co.kr]
 

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