Korean Economy News
Foreign holding of Korean stocks and bonds hits record high of $672 bn

By Jin Young-tae and Choi Mira

Foreign ownership in Korean stocks and bonds reached a new record last month as offshore investors’ appetite for local securities revived after a three-month-long selling spree from escalated geopolitical tensions.

According to data released by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) on Tuesday, foreign investors as of the end of October held Korean securities worth 752.4 trillion won ($672 billion) - 651.2 trillion won in listed stocks, making up 33.9 percent of the total market capitalization, and 101.2 trillion won in listed bonds, accounting for 6.1 percent of the total.

Offshore investors net purchased 2.4 trillion won worth of local stocks - 2.1 trillion won in the main Kospi market and 300 billion won in the secondary Kosdaq market. European investors net bought 1.5 trillion won worth of Korean shares. The net buying by Americans reached 1.1 trillion won and that by Asian investors amounted to 400 billion won. Middle Easterners net sold 89 billion won worth of local stocks.

Americans held the largest amount of Korean shares worth 272.3 trillion won, accounting for 41.8 percent of the total foreign ownership. They were followed by British holding 1.7 trillion won, Irish with 329 billion won, Chinese with 279 billion won, German with 194 billion won and Australian with 127 billion won. Investors from Europe held 183.9 trillion won in local stocks, Asia 80.3 trillion won and the Middle East 26.9 trillion won.

Foreigners net bought 7.3 trillion worth of local bonds and net sold 5.4 trillion won last month. Their redemption of matured bonds reached 1.2 trillion won, meaning that their net investment in local debt amounted to 698 billion won. Asians held 41.4 trillion won worth of local bonds, the largest 40.9 percent of total foreign ownership, followed by investors from Europe with 32.6 trillion won and the Americas with 11.3 trillion won.

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