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Stock investment loans surge as Kospi hits new high

The Kospi hit a new all-time high on Wednesday on growing hopes over US stimulus talks and reports on vaccine candidates, closing at 2,771.79.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq also rose to 939.65, marking its highest level in nearly 19 years.

Amid the continued stock market rally, the total amount of loans taken out for stock investments by individuals in South Korea has exceeded 19 trillion won ($17.37 billion) for the first time, market data showed.

After crossing the 19 trillion-won mark Monday, the balance for margin account loans came in at some 19.12 trillion won as of Tuesday, up 1.1 trillion won, or 6.08 percent, from Dec. 1, according to data from the Korea Financial Investment Association. It has also more than doubled from 9.2 trillion won observed earlier this year.

The credit loan balance had been on a downturn to reach some 16.4 trillion won at the end of October, but as local stocks set new record highs last month, the amount rapidly increased again.

The nation’s main bourse Kospi closed at 2,267.15 on Oct. 30, then soared over 20 percent to end trading at 2,762.2 on Monday. The tech-heavy Kosdaq also jumped 17 percent from 792.65 to 929.54 over the cited period.

Amid the snowballing volume of personal credit loans, an increasing number of local securities firms such as Samsung Securities, KB Securities and Hanwha Investment & Securities have suspended credit financing and deposit-secured loan services.

Under the law on financial investment services and capital markets, a brokerage house with a net worth of 3 trillion won or more is allowed to offer credit loans worth up to 200 percent of its equity.

By Jie Ye-eun (
Korea Herald Youtube