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Appetite of US investors in Korea’s stock market grows

BlackRock 3rd-largest shareholder of Samsung Electronics with 5.03%


The impact of US shareholders has grown on South Korea’s stock market, as they expand investments in large-cap stocks, according to the latest data Sunday.

In a survey of shareholders from the US and China with more than 5 percent ownership in the local stock market, investors from the US marked nearly 27.71 trillion won ($23.02 billion) as of June 22, up 52.7 percent, or 18.15 trillion won from March 2016.

While 45 retail and institutional investors owned over 5 percent stake in 111 locally listed firms, the world’s largest investment management firm BlackRock Fund Advisors’ equity shareholding accounted for more than 80 percent in share value, data compiled by Korea CXO Institute showed.

BlackRock has secured over 5 percent stake in 11 local firms such as Samsung Electronics, SK hynix, Naver, NCSoft, Shinhan Financial Group, Posco and LG Electronics. Its equity value in the firms reached about 22.35 trillion won.

Among the figures, its shareholder equity in Samsung came to some 15.62 trillion won, or 5.03 percent, which makes the US-based fund operator the third-largest shareholder, following the founding Lee family and state-run National Pension Service.

Meanwhile, Fidelity Management & Research Company has acquired more than a 5 percent stake in 34 local firms, including food giant Ottogi. It previously owned mostly biopharma firms’ shares such as Dongkook Pharmaceutical and Kwang Dong Pharmaceutical.

Meanwhile, the impact of shareholders from China and Hong Kong with over a 5 percent stake in locally listed firms reduced by 46.6 percent, or 2.39 trillion won, to 4.47 trillion won in the cited period. The number of firms owned by the shareholders also decreased from 50 to 34.

T. Rowe Price Hong Kong has the highest equity ownership among investors from the country. The asset management firm’s 6.2 percent stake in LG Household & Health Care was worth about 1.23 trillion won.

By Jie Ye-eun (