SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- Stock loans in South Korea surpassed 10 trillion won (US$8.9 billion) last week as the stock market saw a modest gain, data showed Sunday.
The amount of outstanding margin loans came to 10.1 trillion won last Wednesday, according to the data compiled by the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA).
It was the first time since Oct. 29 last year that margin loans exceeded 10 trillion won, the data showed.
Investors, mostly individuals, take out loans from brokerage houses to invest in stocks.
South Korea's main stock index has been on a steady rise since early this year, mainly due to optimism about a trade dispute between the United States and China.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index closed at 2196.09 last Friday, compared with 2010.00 on Jan. 2.
Hwang Se-woon, a senior researcher at the Korea Capital Market Institute, warned investors against taking out margin loans, saying they could suffer heavier losses if stock prices fall.
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