SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- The proportion of South Korean investment funds out of the country's total stock market capitalization grew to a nearly three-year high in 2018, data showed Sunday.
Shares held by such funds accounted for 4.79 percent of the country's total market cap as of end-December, marking the highest since June 2016 when the figure stood at 4.93 percent, according to the data from the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA).
It rose further to 4.80 percent as of the end of last month, it noted.
Operated by asset management companies, investment funds refer to those funds that pool money from investors; put them in stocks, bonds and other investment vehicles; and return profits to clients.
The market influence of such investment funds had expanded from 2004 before reaching its peak in March 2009, when their proportion of the stock market cap came to 9.67 percent. The figure, however, had been on the skids in the wake of the global financial crisis and hit a bottom of 3.9 percent in May 2017.
Buoyed by the strong performance of local as well as global stock indices, the downward trend began to be reversed from mid-2017 and continued well into last year, according to the association.
The amount of money trusted with stock investment funds also surged from 78 trillion won in 2017 to 85 trillion won last year, it added.
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