Foreign investors become net buyers this month, leading Korean stock market

By Park Yoon-bae Posted : January 16, 2023, 15:47 Updated : January 16, 2023, 15:47


SEOUL -- Foreign investors have become net buyers on the main Seoul stock exchange this month, ramping up share prices.
According to the Korea Exchange (KRX), foreigners’ net purchase was estimated at 2.88 trillion won ($2.33 billion) between January 2 and 13.
The net buying trend was in contrast to their net selling of 1.69 trillion won last month, boosting the benchmark KOSPI by 6.7 percent from 2,236.40 on December 29 to 2,386.09 on January 13.
Foreign portfolio investors were found to have purchased large-cap stocks such as memory chipmakers, automakers and financial holding firms.
Samsung Electronics topped foreigners’ net purchase list with 919.4 billion won, followed by SK hynix (334.3 billion won), Hyundai Motor (144.5 billion won), POSCO Holdings (137.9 billion), Hana Financial (101.5 billion won) and KB Financial (91.3 billion won)
Analysts said foreigners are optimistic about the semiconductor industry despite the earnings shock from Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest memory chip manufacturer.
On January 6, Samsung reported that its operating profit nosedived 69 percent to 4.3 trillion won ($3.37 billion) in the fourth quarter of last year from a year before due to the falling prices of memory chips. It marked the first time since the third quarter of 2014 that the IT giant has posted a quarterly operating profit of less than 5 trillion won.
China’s lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and the Korean won’s strength against the U.S. dollar contributed to improving investor sentiment among foreigners, a market watcher said. He added that investors were moving from the U.S. to emerging market countries such as Korea and China on the back of the dollar’s weakness.
On the contrary, individual investors sold 2.96 trillion won worth of Korean stocks, mostly large-cap shares. They dumped Samsung Electronics worth 895.9 billion won, followed by SK hynix (592.6 billion), Hyundai Motor (240.3 billion) and Kakao (225.1 billion won).
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