Investors from Asian countries net purchased 1.8 trillion won (US$1.59 billion) worth of Korean stocks in June, while net selling by foreign investors in general reached 715 billion won (US$633.3 million).
Amid a trade war between China and the United States, foreign investors except those from Asian countries are selling off stocks in the South Korean market.
According to the data released by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) on July 16, Europe was the biggest net seller in June with 1.24 trillion won (US$1.1 billion), followed by the Cayman Islands with 299 billion won (US$264.84 million) and Canada with 267 billion won (US$236.49 million). The US, which accounted for nearly half of the total foreign ownership of Korean stocks, also net sold 81 billion won (US$71.74 million) worth of domestic stocks.
On the other hand, Asian investors net purchased 1.8 trillion won (US$1.59 billion) worth of Korean stocks, betting that the domestic stock market would rebound. By country, Singapore net bought 1.39 trillion won (US$1.23 billion) worth of stocks, while Australia and Oman net purchased 120 billion won (US$106.29 million) and 106 billion won (US$93.89 million), respectively.
The aggregate value of listed stocks owned by foreign investors stood at 596.9 trillion won (US$528.7 billion) as of the end of last month, taking up 31.9 percent of the total market capitalization.
US investors held the largest amount of stocks, valued at 249.3 trillion won (US$220.81 billion), which accounts for 41.8 percent of all Korean stocks owned by foreigners. British investors came in second with 47.9 trillion won (US$42.43 billion), or 8 percent, followed by Luxembourgian investors with 38.3 trillion won (US$33.92 billion), or 6.4 percent, Singaporean investors with 31.7 trillion won (US$28.08 billion), or 5.3 percent, and Irish investors with 23.8 trillion won (US$21.08 billion), or 4 percent.
Unlike stocks, foreign investors have continued to make an investment in bonds. They net invested 2.06 trillion won (US$1.83 billion) in listed bonds last month. As bond investment has flowed into the market for six months after January, the amount of foreign holdings in South Korean bonds came to 110.6 trillion won (US$979.63 billion) as of the end of last year. This was the largest amount of bonds ever owned by foreign investors. However, the size of net investments decreased to 2.1 trillion won (US$1.86 billion) from 3.3 trillion won (US$2.92 billion) in May. Asian investors were also the largest buyers of bonds. Asian countries purchased 1.2 trillion won (US$1.06 billion). They were followed by Europeans with 900 billion won (US$797.17 million) and Americans with 500 billion won (US$442.87 million).