South Korean investors' offshore securities transactions surged more than 60 percent in the first half of this year against the six-month earlier period as local investors have actively sought for high yielding investment products to offset the lackluster South Korean market.
South Korean investors traded US$84.06 billion (99.36 trillion won) worth of foreign securities in the first half of this year, up 60.3 percent from US$52.43 billion (62.01 trillion won) in the second half of last year, according to Korea Securities Depository (KSD) on July 29.
Transactions in foreign stocks rose 23.6 percent to US$18.07 billion (21.37 trillion won) from US$14.61 billion (17.28 trillion won) during the same period. U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon was the most favorite choice by South Koreans, attracting US$970 million (1.15 trillion won) in the first six months of this year.
With a growing variability in the domestic market and a decline in global interest rates, foreign bonds also showed a significant growth. Transactions in foreign bonds jumped 74.4 percent to US$65.99 billion (78 trillion won) in the first half of the year. By region, the amount of bond investments in the European market was the largest at US$52.14 billion (61.63 trillion won), up 76.8 percent, while that in the United States increased 38.2 percent to US$26.20 billion (30.96 trillion won). Next came Brazil at US$210 million (248.18 billion won), Australia at US$70 million (82.73 billion won) and India at US$30 million (35.46 billion won).
Meanwhile, the outstanding deposits for foreign securities accounts held by South Korean investors totaled US$39.84 billion (47.09 trillion won) as of the end of June, up 9.8 percent from US$36.27 billion (42.87 trillion won) at the end of December last year. Holding in foreign stocks grew 25.2 percent to from US$9.83 billion (11.62 trillion won) to US$12.31 billion (14.55 trillion won) and investment in bonds 4.1 percent to US$27.53 billion(32.54 trillion won) over the same period.