Foreign holdings of Samsung Electronics Co. reached a record high of 57.33 percent on May 7, surpassing the previous record of 57.30 percent set in 2001.
Foreign stock ownership of Samsung Electronics recorded 57.31 percent on May 3 and 57.33 percent on May 7, according to Korea Exchange (KRX). The figure grew by more than 2 percentage points from the 55 percent range at the end of last year due to foreign investors’ buying spree from the beginning of this year.
Foreigners bought 2.34 trillion won (US$2 billion) worth of shares in January this year alone and 560.30 billion won (US$479.30 million) in February and 637 billion won (US$544.91 million) in April, despite the sluggish semiconductor market and an earnings shock in the first quarter.
Market analysts believe that foreign investors betted on Samsung Electronics with expectations that the semiconductor market would gradually pick up after hitting the bottom in the second quarter. Lee Soon-hak, an analyst at Hanwha Investment & Securities Co., said, “Samsung Electronics’ profitability became worse due to a sharp decline in memory chip prices. But shipments of DRAM and NAND chips were higher than the earlier guidance amid a gradual recovery of demand and they will show a steady improvement in the second quarter as well.”
Global credit rating agency Moody's has forecast that Samsung Electronics’ operating profit will decrease by over 50 percent this year. However, it also said that demand for memory chips is on the rise.