Stock holdings by offshore investors topped 600 trillion won ($526 billion) in South Korea for the first time as of July, data showed Wednesday.
The foreign net buying trend, which had continued for eight consecutive months until July, lifted foreign investors’ equity holdings to 605.7 trillion won, accounting for 33.4 percent of all shares issued on the two stock markets, according to data from the Financial Supervisory Service.
This came in spite of the shrinking net purchases of foreign investors on widening market volatility due to geopolitical risks surrounding the Korean Peninsula.
In July, foreign investors net bought 579 billion won, about one-third of that of June, amounting to 1.76 trillion won, partly due to net sales reaching 1.83 trillion won in equities in the final week of July.
Investors from the United States held shares worth 253.7 trillion won, accounting for 41.9 percent of the entire offshore stock holdings. They raised stock holdings worth 944 billion won in July, the most among all nations, while investors from the United Kingdom showed the largest net sales of stocks, to the tune of 530 billion won.
Meanwhile, bond holdings by foreign investors, where over 4 in 5 went to sovereign bonds, surged nearly twofold in July to 2.76 trillion won compared to a month prior at 1.55 trillion won. The offshore buying trend in bond markets was sustained for seven straight months.
By Son Ji-hyoung