South Korean institutional holding in offshore securities reached all-time high of $224.3 billion by the end of September as local institutions capitalized on ample liquidity conditions to seek higher returns in overseas.
According to data released by the Bank of Korea (BOK) on Tuesday, Korean institutions held $224.3 billion worth foreign securities as of the end of September, up $13.5 billion compared to the end of June.
The holding of foreign securities by Korean institutional investors such as asset managers and insurers has kept breaking records since the fourth quarter in 2015. It amounted to $210.8 billion as of end-June this year, exceeding the $200 billion threshold for the first time.
Market analysts attribute the gain to investors’ betting on overseas securities in search for high returns as the benchmark interest rate has been kept at record-low level for a lengthy period on top of abundant foreign currency liquidity boosted by comfortable current account surplus.
Korean institutions held $119.2 billion worth foreign bonds as of the end-September, up $9.3 billion won from three months earlier. Their holding in overseas stocks rose $4.1 billion to $62.2 billion. Investment n Korean Papers, foreign currency-denominated securities issued by Korean nationals in overseas countries, added $100 million to stretch to $42.8 billion.
Foreign securities held by local asset managers increased $9.2 billion to $112.2 billion, and those by local insurers gained $2.8 billion to $76.6 billion over the same period.
By Kim In-oh and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]