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Individual investors loaded with 50 tln won cash

All News 10:57 May 11, 2020

SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) -- Individual investors accumulated 50 trillion won (US$41 billion) in stocks and stock investment deposits, holding greater influence over the benchmark index since the beginning of the year, data showed Monday.

From Jan. 2 to May 8, retail investors bought a net 30.8 trillion won worth of local shares, 26.1 trillion won at the main bourse and 4.7 trillion on the secondary KOSDAQ market, Korea Exchange (KRX) data showed.

The figures marked a stark contrast from last year.

In Jan. 2 to May 8, 2019, individuals sold off a net 4.7 trillion won shares at the main bourse and 798 billion won shares at the KOSDAQ market.

Individuals' deposits for stock investment increased to 44.5 trillion won as of May 7, up 17.1 trillion won from a year ago, according to the data from the Korea Financial Investment Association (KOFIA).

Stock investment deposit refers to investors' cash entrusted at brokerages, mostly for future stock investment.

Dealers at Hana Bank in central Seoul watch monitors on May 8, 2020. (Yonhap)

"Individual investors' stock purchases grew to a remarkable size, considering that (giant institutional investor) National Pension Service's net purchase stands between 10 trillion and 20 trillion won a year," SK Securities Co. analyst Choi Seok-won said.

Individuals' buying mode has drawn attention in local markets for countering the selling spree of foreign and institutional investors, particularly in May.

In May 4-8, foreigners sold a net 1.5 trillion won worth of local stocks, comparing with institution's 267 billion won dumping, while individuals raked in a net 1.7 trillion won.

"In the past two weeks, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) has shown a relatively stable move within the 1900-1950 band, compared to the huge turbulence on Wall Street and other global stock markets amid the COVID-19 rout," Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co, said.

Lee added that the individuals have grown into a major player on the local stock market, where offshore investors had the largest sway over the KOSPI.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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