Foreign investors reaped solid returns by cherry-picking gainers in a broadly bearish stock market in Korea in the third quarter, whereas retailers were heavily burned, data from Korea Exchange showed.
Top 10 picks of individual investors on the country’s main Kospi and junior Kosdaq bourses incurred an average negative return of 18.83 percent in the quarter ended September.
Biopharmaceutical company Helixmith Co. was most sought after by retail investors over the cited period with net purchases of 251.4 billion won ($210 million), but its shares plunged 50.87 percent over the cited period.
Experts say investors frantically sold off Helixmith shares after the second largest Kosdaq member admitted an embarrassing late-stage blunder and now has to restart the placebo-controlled phase 3 trial of Engensis (VM202), an investigational drug to treat diabetic neuropathy.
All the other stocks popularly chased by retail buyers lost big in the third quarter – LG Chem (-15.51 percent), LG Electronics (-15.01 percent), LG Display (-20.73 percent), Hotel Shilla (-11.13 percent), Young Poong Corp. (-15.56 percent), FILA Korea (-24.51 percent), SK Telecom (-6.76 percent), Hyundai E&C (-13.62 percent), and Amorepacific (-14.59 percent).
Nine out of top 10 selections of foreigners, in contrast, delivered positive returns of 18.86 percent on average during the same period. Returns of top 10 picks by institutional investors were negative 0.36 percent, however outperforming the Kospi and the Kosdaq that lost 3.17 percent and 9.96 percent, respectively, in the July-September period.
Meanwhile, 10 stocks individuals dumped the most in the period rose an average 10.64 percent – Samsung Electronics (4.36 percent), SK Hynix (18.27 percent), Naver (37.72 percent). Only Celltrion shares dropped 20.19 percent.
By Hong Hae-jin and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]