Foreigners return to net buyers of Korean stocks in April

2019.05.13 13:55:19

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Foreign investors shifted to net buying in Korean shares while keeping up strong appetite for Korean debt amid bullish bond market.

According to the Financial Supervisory Service on Monday, offshore investors in April net purchased 2.58 trillion won ($2.18 billion) worth of Korean stocks, turning into the net-buying position in a month. They net bought Korean equities in the first two months of this year before turning into net sellers in March.

British investors net bought 749 billion won worth stocks, those from Luxembourg 445 billion won, the U.S. 443 billion won, Ireland 426 billion won, and the Cayman Islands 328 billion won. Investors from Saudi Arabia, however, net sold 131 billion won worth, Sweden 92 billion won, and Hong Kong 81 billion won.

Foreign investors as of the end of April held Korea-listed stocks worth 575.9 trillion won, making up 32.4 percent of the total market capitalization. Americans held the largest amount of Korean shares worth 245.6 trillion won, accounting for 42.7 percent of the total foreign ownership. They were followed by those from the U.K. with 47.5 trillion won (8.2 percent), Luxembourg with 37 trillion won (6.4 percent), and Singapore with 29.9 trillion won (5.2 percent).

In the bond market, offshore investors net bought 526 billion won worth of bonds last month. They purchased 5.7 trillion won worth bonds while selling 3.4 trillion won worth and collecting 1.8 trillion won worth upon maturity in their debt holdings. This was the second month in a row they remained as net buyers of local debts.

Foreign ownership in Korean bonds totaled 112 trillion won as of the end of April, accounting for 6.3 percent of the total debt market. Asian investors held the largest 47.1 trillion won worth debts, or 42.1 percent of the total foreign ownership, followed by Europeans with 39.8 trillion won (34.6 percent) and Americans with 9.8 trillion won (8.8 percent).

By Jin Young-tae and Lee Ha-yeon

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