South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS), world’s third largest pension fund with $570 billion cherry-picked IT and semiconductor shares in the fourth quarter during bearish run on the Seoul markets.
According to market data provider FnGuide, NPS owned 5 percent or more in 295 stocks as of the end of December. Of them, ownership was increased in 77 stocks in the final quarter. The heavyweight institutional player newly acquired 5 percent or more in nine companies and increased its share in 68 firms where it already owns 5 percent or more. In Korea, any stake changes beyond 5 percent threshold requires disclosure.
Favorites were semiconductor and IT related stocks, with shares added in 11 companies. NPS newly acquired 6.2 percent stake in YMC Co., 5.11 percent stake in Silicon Works Co., 5.02 percent stake in Kortek Corp. 7.23 percent stake in IsuPetasys Co. in the fourth quarter. The fund expanded its stake in Seoul Semiconductor Co. to 7.11 percent from 5.05 percent and in Samsung Electronics Co. to 10.0 percent from 9.25 percent.
Its new basket of stocks also added pharmaceutical/bio stocks. It held 5.04 percent stake each in Celltrion Inc. and HanAll Biopharma Co. as of the end of last year. It upped its stake in Dong-A ST Co. to 13.1 percent from 12.6 percent, in Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical Corp. to 11.82 percent from 11.43 percent, and Dong-A Socio Holdings Co. to 13.47 percent from 13.25 percent over the cited period.
NPS sold its share in total 108 companies in the fourth quarter. Of the total, it reduced its stake in 20 firms to below 5 percent. It sold part of its stakes in 11 chemical companies including Korea Petro Chemical Ind Co. and Songwon Industrial Co. It also trimmed down its share in food makers, pharmaceutical companies, and media firms.
By Yoo Joon-ho and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]