Foreign investors rack up S. Korean stocks on rally

Foreign investors have been active in the South Korean stock market over the past two weeks, contributing to the recent rally in the main KOSPI index, data showed Sunday.

Offshore investors scooped up a net total of 5 trillion won (US$3.75 billion) worth of local shares from Jan. 29-Feb. 8, according to the data from the Korea Exchange.

Over the same period, the KOSPI rose 5.71 percent to close at 2,620.32 points, while the financial authorities announced plans to boost undervalued stocks.

Hyundai Motor Co. was the top pick of foreigners, with 1.2 trillion won bought. They purchased 530 billion won worth of Kia Corp. stocks, 311.2 billion won of Samsung C and T Corp. stocks and 258.2 billion won of KB Financial Group.

All of the top 20 stocks they favored experienced gains in the Korean stock market last week.

Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance Co. rose 38.17 percent last week, Hanmi Semiconductor Co. 33.73 percent and Hyundai Motor 33.48 percent.

SK Square Co., Hana Financial Group, KB Financial Grou
p and E-Mart Inc. also increased by more than 20 percent.

However, individual investors have been net sellers in the market over the period, offloading a total of 6.17 trillion won worth of stocks.

They sold Hyundai Motor stocks worth 1.72 trillion won, Kia 531.2 billion won and Samsung C and T 444.3 billion won.

But their top five picks, including Naver Corp. and Hybe Co., finished in negative territory last week.

Source: Yonhap News Agency