Retail buying in Korean shares could top $85 billion this year

2020.09.17 16:23:46 | 2020.09.18 09:03:55

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Over 100 trillion won ($85 billion) in retail money would have fueled the Korean stock markets this year, helping to cushion off relentless foreign selloff and downsides of pandemic and recession crises but raising alarm about burst in bubbly stocks and burn on individuals.

According to the Korea Stock Exchange on Thursday, individual investors in Korea have net purchased 56 trillion won in local stock markets - 43.5 trillion won in the Kospi and 12.1 trillion won in the Kosdaq - so far this year.

Deposits at brokerage houses in waiting to jump in reached another 56.7 trillion won on Tuesday, 29.3 trillion won added from December.

Retail investors also net purchased $13.57 billion in overseas shares this year as of Sept. 14, up sharply from $2.51 billion in 2019, $1.57 billion in 2018 and $1.45 billion in 2017, according to the Korea Securities Depository data.

Korean individuals have turned eager towards stock investment as shares became cheap after the virus outbreak. They have stayed feverish despite repeated warnings against overheating and debt-financed spree chasing jackpots during recession period.

Stocks could experience a big valuation correction if the vaccine development delays beyond the end of this year and upsets the market, warned Rhee Chang-yong Rhee, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department at Korea Capital Market Institute’s online conference held on Wednesday.

By Shin Yoo-kyoung and Cho Jeehyun

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