[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]
South Korea’s total fund net asset value increased to an all-time high of 544.3 trillion won ($486.4 billion) last year after relatively more stable and higher-yield commodity and bond funds successfully attracted investors battered in the choppy, uncertain stock market.
According to Korea Financial Investment Association on Thursday, total fund net asset value as of the end of last year amounted to a record high of 544.3 trillion won, up 9.6 percent or 37.4 trillion won from a year earlier. The net asset value of domestic funds has been growing steadily in recent years from 414 trillion won in 2015, 462 trillion won in 2016, and 507 trillion won in 2017.
By type, the net asset value of commodity funds such as real estate and special asset funds amounted to 147.4 trillion won as of end December, up 24.2 percent from a year earlier.
The net asset value of bond funds totaled 103.1 trillion won, up 7.7 percent over the same period.
The net asset value of equity funds, however, went down 2.7 trillion won to 79.9 trillion won while that of money market funds (MMFs) also dropped 7.7 trillion won to 90.3 trillion won.
The Korea Financial Investment Association said the net asset value of equity funds fell last year due to the global stock market turmoil but that of commodity funds considered more stable with relatively higher yields rose sharply. The net asset value of MMFs fell due to money withdrawal upon expiration of some Qatar National Bank’s term deposit backed commercial papers (ABCPs) and year-end fund demand.
The gap in net asset value of private equity and public offering funds, meanwhile, widened. The net asset value of public funds amounted to 213.6 trillion won, down 1.8 percent on year, while private funds increased 14.2 percent to 330.7 trillion won. The gap has widened every year since the total net asset value of private funds exceeded that of public funds in 2016. The gap has widened from 38 trillion won in 2016 to 71.8 trillion won in 2017 and 117.1 trillion won in 2018.
By Kim Je-lim and Lee Eun-joo
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