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Pension funds load up Samsung shares

Oct. 17, 2016 - 11:40 By 박윤아
[THE INVESTOR] South Korean pension funds have snapped up shares of Samsung Electronics after the tech giant’s stocks plunged following its smartphone fiasco, industry sources said on Oct. 17.

Samsung, the top cap and darling of the South Korean stock market, decided last week to suspend production of the Galaxy Note 7 and pull the flagship smartphone out of the market after failing to resolve the battery-fire problem, sending its shares into a freefall.

According to the sources, pension funds, one of the nation‘s largest institutional investors, bought a net 140.3 billion won (US$123 million) worth of Samsung shares during the four trading days from Oct. 11. A day later, their net buying reached 75.8 billion won, a yearly high for daily Samsung net purchases.

Pension funds’ net buying of Samsung shares struck a contrast to uneven trading patterns by other institutional investors.

Securities companies are estimated to have sold a large amount of Samsung shares on Oct. 13 to take profits from a gap in spot and future prices.

Local investment trust companies sold a net 10 billion won during the four-day period, with foreign investors‘ net selling reaching a whopping 613.2 billion won.

Analysts said pension funds appear to have engaged in bargain hunting as the Galaxy Note 7 episode sent Samsung’s share price plunging to the 1.5 million won range after hitting a record high of 1.7 million won days earlier.