National Pension Fund reaps heavy profit from stock investment in Samsung

By 정주원
  • Published : May 25, 2014 - 17:41
  • Updated : May 25, 2014 - 17:41

South Korea's national pension fund made more than 1 trillion won ($975.1 billion) in two weeks from its Samsung Group stocks, an analysis of its latest investment portfolio indicated Sunday.

Samsung Group's share prices have jumped across the board after the conglomerate's chief Lee Kun-hee, who commands the country's top cap business empire, was hospitalized earlier this month after a heart attack. The incident raised investor confidence that Samsung would take pro-shareholder steps as it expedites managerial succession to Lee's children.

The National Pension Service, among the world's five biggest, had 30.1 percent of its investment in stocks as of end-2013. Of that, more than 5 percent are in 14 Samsung-affiliated companies.

An analysis by investment companies and FnGuide, which tracks financial trends, showed the value of NPS's Samsung shares increased from 19.2 trillion won on May 9, just before Lee's hospitalization, to 20.4 trillion won as of Friday. Samsung Electronics, the flagship of the business group, was the biggest contributor to the increase, adding 960 billion won, data showed.

Samsung C&T, a builder unit, added another 84 billion won while Samsung Securities and Samsung Engineering contributed about 25 billion won each.

NPS announced on Friday that it will raise the stock portion in its overall investment portfolio to 35 percent by 2019 and cut the size of safer bonds to 55 percent from the current 60.4 percent.

Analysts say although the investment in Samsung has been a success, the fund may be hesitant about putting more money in the same basket.

"There is some burden from the valuation after the big leap in Samsung stocks," an analyst who handles some of the NPS investments said, declining to be named. "There are some concerns that the growth of Samsung Electronics and some of the affiliates has peaked, so it won't be easy to make additional investments." (Yonhap)