SEJONG, Nov. 26 (Yonhap) -- Foreign ownership of South Korean land expanded 1.3 percent in the first half of the year from six months earlier, the land ministry said Friday.
Foreigners owned 256.7 square kilometers of land here as of end-June, up 3.39 million square meters from the end of December last year, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
The amount accounts for 0.26 percent of South Korea's total land area and is slightly more than four times the size of Manhattan in New York.
The value of land held by foreigners increased 0.6 percent to 31.7 trillion won (US$26.6 billion) over the cited period.
U.S. nationals topped all nationalities in terms of ownership, holding 136.75 million square meters, or 53.3 percent of all land owned by foreigners.
Chinese citizens came next with 7.9 percent, followed by Europeans with 7.1 percent and Japanese with 6.5 percent.
South Korean expatriates held 55.9 percent of the total land owned by foreign entities, trailed by joint ventures with 27.7 percent, foreign individuals with 8.8 percent and foreign firms with 7.4 percent.
By region, Gyeonggi Province surrounding the South Korean capital of Seoul took up 18.2 percent of all foreign-owned land in Asia's fourth-largest economy, with the southern resort island of Jeju accounting for 8.5 percent, according to the ministry.
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