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S. Korea sees $920m in foreigners’ net purchase last year

Foreign investors in South Korea net purchased some $920 million, or 1.04 trillion won, of locally listed stocks last year, but the figure was conspicuously lower than that of peer emerging economies, data showed Friday.

According to Yuanta Securities, the combined net purchase volume by foreigners on the nation’s benchmark Kospi and tech-laden secondary Kosdaq marked $924 million in 2019.

Among emerging economies, India topped the list in amount at $14.2 billion, followed by Taiwan and Indonesia markets with $9.4 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively.


In Brazil, Thailand and the Philippines, on the other hand, foreigners net sold -- $11 billion, $1.5 billion and $240 million, respectively.

Foreign investors turned net buyers here last year but were observed to dump local stocks worth $5.16 billion for four consecutive months from August to November.

The prime reasons were mostly external uncertainties, including US-China trade tensions and the political insecurity in Hong Kong, as well as Seoul’s economic friction with neighboring Japan.

The selling spree gained further momentum in November, following the change in Morgan Stanley Capital International’s Emerging Markets Index, which reduced the proportion of Korean stocks.

By Jie Ye-eun (