Foreign investors of South Korean stocks extended their selling spree for the fifth consecutive month in March as concerns over the slowing Chinese economy and protracted Ukraine conflict kept them from betting on risky assets, the financial watchdog said Sunday.
Overseas investors offloaded a net 1.25 trillion won ($1.19 billion) worth of local stocks in March, compared with a net selling of 1.23 trillion won a month earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
The FSS noted that foreign investor sentiment was hurt by a possible slowdown in the Chinese economy and escalating tensions between Russia and the United States over Ukraine and Crimea.
Their portion of stock ownership stood at 31.9 percent, worth 424.6 trillion won, slightly down from 32.2 percent a month earlier, according to the watchdog.
Investors based in Europe led the selling spree, with a net 1.8 trillion won sold, said the FSS. British investors were the biggest seller, dumping a net 1.3 trillion won.
In contrast, U.S.-based investors and Asians snapped up 100 billion won and 700 billion won of South Korean shares, respectively, in March.
Foreign ownership of local bonds stood at 95.1 trillion won last month, slightly up from 93.9 trillion won a month earlier, it said.
They bought a net 2.5 trillion won worth of bonds, with Switzerland and Singapore being the biggest buyers with a net 300 billion won each, according to the FSS.