The Korea Herald


Foreign investors snap up tech shares

Top picks include Samsung Electronics, LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, SK hynix

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Nov. 30, 2022 - 15:47

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An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap) An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Foreign investors purchased a net of more than 6 trillion won ($4.5 billion) worth of shares on South Korea's stock market in October and November as they picked up chips and other related tech shares, the Korea Exchange's data showed Wednesday.

According to the securities exchange operator, foreign investors purchased net 6.78 trillion-won worth of shares on the benchmark Kospi from Oct. 1 to Nov. 29, while they sold 30 billion won on Kosdaq.

The Kospi purchase was heavily focused on chipmakers, battery and related tech firms, which are big players in the local stock market.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics took the lead with foreigner investors buying 1.97 trillion-won worth of shares, followed by LG Energy Solution (1.13 trillion won), Samsung SDI (1.02 trillion won) and SK hynix (650 billion won).

Foreign buyers also bought shares of Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Hanhwa Solution, KT&G, Posco Chemical, Samsung Biologics and Korea Aerospace Industries.

In October, foreign holdings of Kospi surpassed 31 percent. It was the first time in five months for the figure to make the recovery since May. However, the figure eventually fell to 30.69 percent in November.

For Kosdaq, foreign holdings rose to 8.9 percent in October, up 0.06 percentage point from September, before it slightly fell to 8.74 percent in November.

With heavy foreign buying, Samsung Electronics, LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI shares showed double-digit growth compared to that of Sept. 30.

“With China possibly easing up on its COVID restrictions, foreign buyers are anticipating on growth of related markets. If the Chinese market recovers, so does the Korean market,” Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities, said.

China’s State Council held a briefing Tuesday saying it will increase vaccination rate of the elderly, a move interpreted to be a sign of reopening. Though the authorities did not explicitly mention an ease of pandemic-related restrictions, expectations are growing.

“Also, sales of Korean tech firms in the US went up due to seasonal events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Seo said. “South Korean government announcing its support on liquidity also had its effect.”

With expectations on China's reopening and growth, shares of Korean cosmetics companies -- an area heavily reliant on the Chinese market -- also went up, such as Amore Pacific, LG H&H and Hankook Cosmetics.