The Bank of Korea announced on March 2 that South Korean institutional investors’ foreign currency-denominated securities investment balance reached US$326.3 billion at the end of last year, up 22.9 percent from a year earlier.
“Their demand for foreign bonds and stocks increased with interest rates remaining low in South Korea,” the central bank explained, adding, “In addition, the prices of those bonds jumped along with foreign stock prices based on major economies’ expansionary monetary policies.”
Specifically, asset management firms’ balance increased by US$47.5 billion and insurers’ balance rose US$5.4 billion. Those of foreign exchange banks and securities companies increased US$3.5 billion and US$4.3 billion, respectively. The bond balance rose US$32.1 billion while the securities balance showed a year-on-year increase of US$27.7 billion.
In the meantime, the investment balance of Korean papers totaled US$42.4 billion in 2019, up 2.3 percent from a year ago.