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Foreigners continue buying Korean electronics, auto, cosmetics shares

All News 16:43 January 10, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- Foreign investors have net purchased South Korean stocks for nine consecutive days Monday buttressed by the growing popularity of South Korean electronics, automobile and cosmetics shares, the Korea Stock Exchange said Tuesday.

The foreign buying spree put the amount of listed stocks by foreigners at 466.7 trillion won (US$ 390.2 billion) as of Monday, second only to the record 467.1 trillion won Thursday, according to statistics by the exchange.

Foreigners net bought 258.7 billion won worth of Samsung stocks for the nine-day period with the purchase of 210.2 billion won on Friday and Monday alone.

Samsung Friday put its October-December period operating profit at an estimated 9.2 trillion won, up 49.84 percent from a year earlier.

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"Domestic stock prices have not yet risen enough compared with those of foreign stock markets, and that's why foreign investors are purchasing domestic stocks," Lee Yong-gon of Hana Financial Investment & Securities said. "Liquidity is also ample, as global capital is moving to stock markets from bond markets."

Foreign investors also net bought 146.1 billion won worth of Hyundai Motor Co. shares, 61.6 billion won of SK Telecom and 58.4 billion won of KB Kookmin Bank shares during the period.

Cosmetics shares were also popular as cosmetics makers hit 52-week lows in recent weeks amid concerns over a standoff between South Korea and China over a U.S. missile defense system.

The net buying of AmorePacific Co., South Korea's biggest cosmetics manufacturer, by foreign investors reached 34.7 billion won during five days from last Tuesday.

The comparable figures for Amore G, Amorepacific's holding company, and LG Household & Health Care were 34.7 billion won and 28.1 billion won each.

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AmorePacific fell to 294,500 won (US$247) in early Tuesday afternoon trading, a sharp decline from 441,000 won on July 7.

China has banned imports of South Korean cosmetics apparently due to the conflict over the missile defense system called THAAD despite the huge popularity of South Korean cosmetics among Chinese women affected by the widely consumed Korean pop culture in the world's most populous country.

China is believed to be taking economic retaliation against Seoul's decision in July to deploy THAAD on south Korean soil early this year, although South Korea says the missile system is against threats from North Korea.

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