Individuals now own over 600 million shares or 10 percent in South Korea’s bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. as four out of 10 stocks they net bought this year was the electronics giant.
The number of common shares held by mom-and-pop investors totaled at 605.3 million, or 10.13 percent of total of 5.97 billion outstanding shares, as of April 30. It is the first time that their stake in the Korean tech giant has exceeded 10 percent. Based on the stock’s closing price on Friday, Samsung Electronics shares held by individual investors amounted to 53.2 trillion won ($47.5 billion).
As a result, retail investors together hold more Samsung Electronics shares than local institutional investors including National Pension Service (NPS). Korea’s public pension fund operator, NPS, disclosed in March it reduced its stake in Samsung Electronics to below 10 percent from 10.7 percent it owned as of the end of 2020. NPS presumably owns a 9.5 percent stake now.
Retail ownership in Samsung Electronics jumped after the Covid-19 rout made the stock cheaper. Their stake at 2.87 percent in December 2017 jumped to 6.48 percent by the end of 2020.
They stayed avid in Samsung Electronics even after the market stagnated from January after the Kospi breached 3,000-threshold.
Individual investors have net purchased 18.4 trillion won in Samsung Electronics shares so far this year, accounting for 42.3 percent of their total net purchase made in the Kospi market.
Foreign investors still remain as the most influential force behind the tech stock’s price but their stake holding has declined to 54.61 percent from 55.73 percent held at the end of last year.
By Kim Ki-chul and Cho Jeehyun
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