South Korean investors’ overseas stock transactions are expected to reach a record high this year again. The figure came to US$18.07 billion (21.16 trillion won) in the first half of the year alone, far surpassing half of last year’s total. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) took five of the top 10 spots in terms of trading volume.
South Korean investors sold about US$8.40 billion (9.83 trillion won) worth of foreign stocks and bought US$9.60 billion (11.24 trillion won) in the first half of this year, according to recent data from Securities Information Portal (SEIBro) under the Korea Securities Depository (KSD). The total transaction figure represented 55.5 percent of last year’s total of US$32.57 billion (38.12 trillion won), which was a record high. Accordingly, last years’ record is likely to be broken this year.
By country, the United States accounted for 70 percent of the total with US$12.72 billion (14.89 trillion won). U.S. stocks and ETFs filled out nine out of the top 10 ranks in terms of trading volume, except Hong Kong’s China AMC CSI 300 ETF which took second place.
Amazon.com Inc. ranked first in terms of trading volume for two years in a row. Microsoft Corp. came in third, Alphabet Inc., the holding company of Google Inc., fourth, NVIDIA Corp. seventh and Apple Inc. eighth. Microsoft made the largest profit among the five firms, showing a 32.5 percent increase in stock prices in the first half, followed by Apple with 25.3 percent, Amazon with 23 percent, NVIDIA with 20.6 percent and Alphabet with 2.7 percent.
The other five were EFTs. It is an eye-opening leap, given that only two out of the top 10 were ETFs last year. ETFs which made the top 10 list for two consecutive years were “China AMC CSI 300 ETF” which follows China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index and BlackRock’s “The iShares T PLS ISHA.” Since ETFs which follow specific stock indexes has a diversified investment effect, they are popular among South Korean investors.