One out of 10 South Koreans invest in stocks and nearly half of them are in their 50s or older, government data showed Monday.
According to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, Statistics Korea and the Korea Securities Depository, around 5.55 million people invested in 2,216 listed firms on the domestic stock market, as of end-December last year.
The findings showed that one in five of the economically active population were investors and the number reached 10.7 percent of all resident registration population in the country. It has for the first time surpassed the 10 percent mark.
The figure recorded about 8 percent as of end-2008 and has since risen steadily, hitting 9.7 percent at the end of 2017.
The number of investors at the end of 2008 tallied 3.97 million, and had increased 39.9 percent by the end of last year.
Data showed that stock investors are aging. Investors aged 50 and older marked 46.3 percent, those in their 40s (27.6 percent), 30s (18.8 percent) and 20s (5.7 percent).
Meanwhile, investors who are 50 or older and in their 40s were 31.5 percent and 30.9 percent, respectively, at the end of 2008. Those in their 30s and 20s came to 27.8 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.
While the ratio of older investors has surged, that of younger investors has reduced, apparently due to a slump in the stock market and the unemployment rate of the young, according to industry experts.
Since 2010, Seoul’s benchmark Kospi has stayed in a box pattern. It traded at 2,051 points at end-2010, but dropped by 0.5 percent through the end of last year, closing at 2,041.04 points.
Kospi closed at 2,203.71 on Monday, however the price-earnings ratio in the last nine years has been 7.5 percent, which is lower than the interest on local bank deposits.
By Jie Ye-eun (email@example.com