South Korea's national pension operator reduced the portion of top business groups in its stock holdings in 2013, market data showed Sunday, in an apparent move to hedge against the market's volatility by diversifying its portfolio.
The National Pension Service (NPS) said shares in the affiliates of South Korea's top four conglomerates -- Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG and SK -- took up 52.5 percent of its stock investment portfolio at end-December 2013, down 6.5 percentage points from a year earlier.
While the value of such blue-chip shares edged up 3.6 percent on-year to reach 44.1 trillion won (US$41.8 billion), the combined amount of shares held by the NPS soared 14.5 percent to 83.9 trillion won over the cited period.
The NPS had rapidly expanded its stock investment in the four giants in previous years, with the amount jumping 58 percent and 51 percent on-year in 2012 and 2011, respectively.
Market watchers said the NPS' efforts to relocate its cash to small- and medium-cap shares will not only allow the institution to hedge against risks, but it will also add vitality to the local industries by lending hands to small companies.
The NPS, on the other hand, expanded its investment in bonds issued by the four giants, with the amount advancing 15.3 percent on-year to reach 10.6 trillion won at end-December 2013.
The country's No. 1 institutional investor held 54.7 trillion won worth of stocks and bonds as of 2013, taking up 16.9 percent of the total securities assets in South Korea. (Yonhap)