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UK biggest foreign stock trader in Kospi

Investors from the United Kingdom traded the largest volume of stocks in terms of value on South Korean markets, beating out investors from other countries in May and June, data from the Financial Supervisory Service showed Tuesday.

In June, UK buyers engaged in trading stocks worth 25.8 trillion won ($23.1 billion), accounting for 33.1 percent of the entire offshore stock trading on the first-tier market. UK investors bought Kospi shares worth 12.93 trillion won and sold 12.89 trillion won.

The United States and Luxembourg ranked No. 2 and No. 3, with the value of stocks traded by their investors reaching 13.8 trillion won and 9.2 trillion won, respectively.

The value of stocks traded by UK investors was also the highest on the second-tier Kosdaq market, accounting for 39.5 percent, followed by Luxembourg and Ireland at 18.5 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively. 

(Herald DB)
(Herald DB)
The UK has 2,614 individuals and institutions approved by the FSS for investment activities in Korea, the third-highest number after the US’ 14,636 and Cayman Islands’ 3,364.

Investment banks take up a larger portion of UK investment entities than those of the US and the UK investors tend to “move based on short-term strategy and be more market-sensitive,” Yang Jung-gyu, an official from the FSS, told The Korea Herald.

In terms of net purchases in June, US investors topped the tally by net buying 1.65 trillion won on the Kospi market and 198 billion won on the Kosdaq market.

French and Irish investors showed the second- and third-largest net purchases of 731 billion won and 327 billion won in both markets, respectively. UK investors net purchased 33 billion won in stocks on the Kospi market and 108 billion won of shares on the Kosdaq market.

Investors from Cayman Islands showed the largest net sales of Korean stocks, worth 359 billion won on the Kospi market and 37 billion won on the Kosdaq.

Foreign investors as a whole traded stocks valued at 78.1 trillion won in June, taking up 30.3 percent of entire trading. Among offshore stock trading, the value of those by UK and US investors took up 50.8 percent in total, according to FSS data.

Among Asian countries, Singapore had its investors trade the highest value of stocks in both markets, accounting for 6.4 percent on the Kospi and 4.7 percent on the Kosdaq out of the entire trade value.

In the Kospi market, investors from Singapore traded 5 trillion won worth of stocks, while the trade volume of Saudi Arabian investors and Japanese investors came to 1.34 trillion won and 606 billion won, respectively. The trade volume of Chinese investors stood at 383 billion won.

Foreign investors in the local stock market -- 10,905 individuals and 33,176 institutions approved by the FSS -- have led the monthslong unrestrained rally in Korea’s first-tier market index, which had hovered below the 2,200 mark for nearly six years until late April. The Kospi gained 1.9 percent during June’s bull run, while foreign investors net purchased shares worth 1.76 trillion won.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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