SEOUL, South Korea's state pension fund posted a return rate of 4 percent in the first two months of the year on a recovery in domestic and foreign stock markets, its operator said Wednesday.

The solid yield represents a sharp turnaround from a negative return for 2018, which stemmed from tumbling equity markets at home and abroad.

"Luckily, local and overseas stock markets recovered from last year's falls, with the fund's overall return rate nearing 4 percent," the National Pension Service (NPS) quoted its chief, Kim Sung-ju, as saying in a recent Facebook post.

Kim said the national pension fund had registered a valuation profit of around 27 trillion won (US$23.9 billion) as of the end of February.

The turnaround was attributed to a combined 8-percent increase in domestic and foreign stock markets.

Last year, the pension fund chalked up a return rate of minus 0.92 percent, for a valuation loss of 5.9 trillion won, hit by plunging stock prices at home and abroad.

Source: Yonhap news Agency