SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) -- Foreign investors net bought the largest amount of South Korean stocks during the first six months this year since 2009, industry data showed Sunday, amid strong corporate earnings outlook and expectations of the global economic recovery.
Foreigners net purchased 10.29 trillion won (US$8.89 billion) worth of stocks during the January-June period, with the total breaking down to 9.24 trillion won for the KOSPI main bourse and 1.99 trillion won for the tech-heavy KOSDAQ market, according to the data by the Korea Exchange.
Institutions and individual investors net sold 10.1 trillion won and 2.2 trillion won, respectively.
The amount of foreign net purchases is the biggest since the first half of 2009, when foreigners net bought 11.1 trillion won of Korean stocks as the 2008 global financial crisis subdued.
It is the fourth time that foreigners net bought more than 10 trillion won worth of Korean stocks during the first six months of the year.
The record net purchase was set at 12.2 trillion won during the January-June period in 2004.
Foreigners also purchased 10.8 trillion won of Korean shares during the first half of the year in 2000 amid the burst of the information technology bubble in 2000.
LG Electronics Inc. topped the list with foreigners having net bought 972 billion won of the company stocks over solid earnings to raise their prices by 55.43 percent during the six-month period.
KB Financial Group was the second most popular with 722 billion won in net purchases, followed by Hyundai Motor Co. at 690 billion won, Samsung SDI at 630 billion won and Hyundai Mobis at 530 billion won.
Samsung Electronics Co. ranked first in the amount of net selling by foreigners with 1.67 trillion won on profit-taking amid the sharp rise in the price of the stocks of the company.
Foreigners also net sold 376 billion won worth of SK hynix stocks amid the dramatic price hikes of the semiconductor manufacturer due to the chip market boom.
Yang Ki-in of Shinhan Investment Corp. attributed the foreign buying spree to the weak U.S. dollar and the strong currencies of developing countries, as well as the solid corporate earnings outlook, rising trade surpluses and a sound current account balance.
Kim Yong-koo of Hana Financial Investment Co. forecast an additional influx of up to 40 trillion won of foreign capital on a mid-term basis, citing the market capitalization and the earnings per share.
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