Foreign stock ownership is down 2.9%

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Foreign stock ownership is down 2.9%

Foreign ownership of Korea’s listed stocks has continued to fall this year as investors overseas reduce exposure to emerging markets amid the credit crisis, the stock market operator said yesterday. As of Tuesday, foreign investors held 178.9 trillion won ($126.2 billion) worth of stocks listed on the main bourse, or 29.46 percent of the total market value, according to the Korea Exchange. The ratio was down 2.93 percentage points from the end of December last year.

Foreign ownership of local shares has been on the downturn since peaking at 41.98 percent in 2004, said the bourse operator. The ratio fell to 39.7 percent in 2005 and 37.22 percent in 2006. The country’s key stock index, the Kospi, has fallen almost 40 percent this year. Yonhap
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