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S. Korea's stock loans hit record high

All Headlines 09:00 December 10, 2017

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- Investors have borrowed a record amount of loans to buy local stocks, although the country's stock market recently suffered a correction, market data showed Sunday.

The amount of money borrowed to buy stocks, so-called margin debt, reached 10.14 trillion won (US$9.28 billion) as of Wednesday, hitting an all-time high, according to the data compiled by the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA).

The figure compares with 6.77 trillion won worth of margin debt at the end of last year and 6.52 trillion won as of end-2015.

The country's stock market has been undergoing a stunning run this year, aided by sound corporate earnings and economic fundamentals. The gains come despite some corrections caused by a series of provocations by North Korea that fueled geopolitical tensions.

Since October, the margin debt has been on a steady rise as retail investors bet that the local stock market would further rise.

The country's benchmark index, the KOSPI, has gained over 20 percent so far this year to end at 2,464.00 points Friday after hitting an all-time high of 2,561.63 points on Nov. 2.

Analysts said margin debt may further rise down the road as the country's stock market is expected to build up further gains.

S. Korea's stock loans hit record high - 1

sam@yna.co.kr
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