[Source: The Financial Supervisory Service]
Foreign selloff in Korean shares accelerated in February, increasing by $1 billion from the previous month amid monetary tightening concerns, data showed.
According to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) on Monday, foreign net sale on the Korean stock market reached 3.24 trillion won ($2.86 billion) in February - 3.04 trillion won in the main Kospi bourse and 198 billion won in the secondary Kosdaq, higher than a net sale of 2.07 trillion won in January.
Foreigners have turned short in Korean shares since last year-end. They net sold 2.69 trillion won worth of stocks in December last year and 2.07 trillion won in January.
Global markets have been seeing migration in capital as spike in U.S. Treasury bond yields raised concerns for faster tightening in the loose monetary policy.
American investors sold a net 1.6 trillion won of stocks and Asians sold 700 billion worth of stocks last month.
Investors from United Arab Emirates sold the largest 1.6 trillion won in net, followed by those from the U.S. with 1.4 trillion won. Investors from Cayman Islands and the U.K., on the other hand, net purchased 840 billion won and 688 billion won worth of stocks, respectively.
Foreign holdings in local listed stocks amounted to 797.5 trillion won as of end-February, up 9.6 trillion from a month earlier, taking up 31.6% of the total market capitalization.
Offshore investors stayed buyers of Korean debts for the second consecutive month in February with their net purchase reaching 8.98 trillion won. They bought 12.1 trillion won while collecting 3.1 trillion won worth bonds upon maturity.
Foreign ownership in Korean bonds totaled a record 161.5 trillion won, adding 10 trillion won from a month ago. Their share within total debt market was 7.7 percent.
Asia was the most eager debt buyer at 78.6 trillion won, or 48.7 percent of the total foreign ownership, followed by Europe with 47.7 trillion won (29.6 percent), and Americans 13.3 trillion won (8.3 percent).
Foreigners net invested 6.4 trillion won in government bonds and 2.6 trillion in forex stabilization bonds. By maturity, they purchased a net 5.3 trillion won worth of bonds dated from one year to less than five years, 2 trillion in bonds dated less than a year and 1.7 trillion won in bonds dated five years or longer.
By Lee Soo-min
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