The Korea Herald


Korea ranks 14th among G20 in stock growth

KOSPI climbs 0.7% to close at 2,011.34 in 2013

By Kim Yon-se

Published : Dec. 30, 2013 - 20:13

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Korean stocks inched up 14.29 points in 2013 to close above the 2,000 mark after fluctuating between 1,750 and 2,060 throughout the year. The main index posted the 14th-highest growth among main bourses of the Group of 20 countries.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index closed at 2,011.34 on Monday, the last trading session of the year. It is only a 0.7 percent increase from 1,997.05 of the last session of 2012.

While G20 countries’ average equity prices index expanded 14.2 percent in 2013, KOSPI growth ranking continued to fall ― to No. 7 in 2011 and No. 13 in 2012.

Argentina topped the list with its bourse growing 89.2 percent as of Dec. 27, followed by Japan with 55.6 percent, Germany with 26 percent, the United States with 25.7 percent and Saudi Arabia with 24.9 percent.

KOSPI’s lowest and highest daily closures of the year were 1,780 on June 25, and 2,059 on Oct. 30.

Foreign investors had led a rally by net purchasing local stocks for 44 consecutive trading sessions between Aug. 23 and Oct. 30. The Korean market, however, eventually lost growth momentum on worries over capital outflow in the wake of the U.S. administration’s policy to scale back its economic stimulus package.

While foreign and corporate investors net bought equities worth 3.3 trillion won ($3 billion) and 5 trillion won, respectively, small investors net sold 5.5 trillion won worth of shares throughout the year.

Small investors were net sellers for the fifth consecutive year.

Although several blue chips usually pull up the index, 10 major conglomerates saw their combined market capitalization (734 trillion won) to the total (1.3 quadrillion won) drop to 56.4 percent in 2013, down 2 percent from the year before, according to the Korea Exchange.

The market capitalization of Samsung Group units dropped by 17.8 percent to 320 trillion won, and LG Group units by 5.5 percent to 71.2 trillion won.

In the currency market, the Korean won continued to appreciate against the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen.

The dollar closed at 1,055.4 won on Monday. In particular, the Japanese currency fell below the 1,000 won mark (999.62 won) per 100 yen during the trading session. The value of 100 yen dropped below 1,000 won for the first time in 63 months.

By Kim Yon-se (