Foreigners turn net sellers of S. Korean stocks in August

Foreign investors dumped nearly 1.18 trillion won (US$883.6 million) worth of South Korean stocks in August, turning net sellers in the month, data showed Friday.

With the sell-off, cumulative holdings of listed stocks by foreigners came to 679.1 trillion won, or 26.1 percent of total market capitalization, as of the end of last month, according to the Financial Supervisory Service.

Foreigners also sold off a net 383 billion won worth of South Korean bonds last month, switching to net sellers after six months.

Their cumulative holdings of bonds totaled 242.6 trillion won, accounting for 9.7 percent of listed bonds as of end-August.

By country, the United States and Singapore were the top net buyers of stocks, purchasing 900 billion won and 500 billion won, respectively, while Britain and Switzerland were the top net sellers, each off-loading 1.3 trillion won and 400 billion won.

As of end-August, the U.S. was the biggest holder of South Korean stocks among foreign countries, possessing 278 trillion won, or 40.9 percent of total listed stocks held by foreigners.

With bonds, Asia and the Americas made net investments, while the Middle East and Europe were net sellers.

By holdings, Asia was the biggest holder of South Korean bonds with 113.5 trillion won, followed by Europe with 71.8 trillion won.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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