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ELS issuance plunges in Q1 amid coronavirus scare

All News 11:23 April 17, 2020

SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) -- Sales of equity-linked securities (ELS) in South Korea plummeted in the first quarter, as lingering coronavirus concerns in global stock markets slashed demand, data showed Friday.

ELS products issued in January-March stood at 21 trillion won (US$17.2 billion), down 38.8 percent from the previous quarter, according to the data from the Korea Securities Depository (KSD).

ELS refers to hybrid debt securities whose returns are determined by the performance of underlying equities, including a stock index.

ELS issuance plunges in Q1 amid coronavirus scare - 1

Of the tally, sales of the S&P 500-tracking ELS stood at 14.3 trillion won, down 31.6 percent from the previous quarter. The ELS based on South Korea's benchmark KOSPI also slipped 39 percent to 6.2 trillion won.

The KSD said the ELS issuance steeply decreased as the worsening COVID-19 pandemic hit the stock indexes at major economies in March.

In the period from March 2-31, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 17.9 percent, and the S&P 500 sank 16.4 percent. The tech-savvy Nasdaq tumbled 14 percent.

The outstanding value of ELS products reached 72.3 trillion won at the end of March, up 1.8 percent from a quarter earlier.


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